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Tulane project to expand economic development in New Orleans

February 24, 2015 10:45 AM
Barri Bronston bbronst@tulane.edu

Tulane University has been selected by the National Science Foundation as an NSF Innovation Corps Site, making it the focus of a three-year effort to move technology-based research into the marketplace.

This effort promises to further the growth of New Orleans as a hub for careers in technology, energy and the environment.

Called “Tulane I-Corps Site for a Resurgent New Orleans,” the project is being funded with a $163,000 grant from the NSF and is led by Lars Gilbertson, a social entrepreneurship professor and a professor of practice in biomedical engineering, and Anne-Marie Job, program director of Tulane’s Interdisciplinary PhD program in bioinnovation.

“The Tulane I-Corps Site will enable us to strengthen Tulane’s commitment to STEM education, women and underrepresented minorities, global health initiatives, and service to persons with disabilities,” Gilbertson said. “The development of new technologies will expand economic development and reinforce the burgeoning life sciences industry of New Orleans and the surrounding region.”

The Tulane I-Corps site, one of 20 I-Corps Sites in the United States and the first in the Gulf South region, will involve students, postdocs, professors and entrepreneurs who will work as teams to move NSF-funded research at Tulane from the lab to the marketplace.

Tulane’s interdisciplinary Bioinnovation PhD program will play an especially crucial role, pushing biomedical technologies out of the lab and into the healthcare environment. In addition, the program will draw on Tulane’s biomedical engineering program, which already has a successful record of generating start-up companies, intellectual property and other commercial ventures.

The program will enable students and faculty to emerge as innovators and entrepreneurs ready to make a difference, Gilbertson said.