The Advocate

LSU has seen “significant” growth in several entrepreneurship and innovation metrics, including invention disclosures and patent applications, in recent years, according to a new report from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

The report, which analyzes metrics on technology transfer, including issued U.S. patents, startups formed and research spending, compares LSU’s performance to the average of the other 13 SEC schools from 2012 to 2016. LSU’s research spending fell during the period, even though peer schools spent more.

Several other metrics including patent applications, issued patents and licenses executed grew at LSU during the period. Technology transfer offices take inventions by faculty members or students and file patent applications to bring the idea to market.

“LSU has shown significant progress since BRAC last researched its performance on innovation practices almost a decade ago,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “While the report shows there is still more work to do, the program is making strides and it should encourage the leadership at the university to invest and push toward the innovation goals outlined in LSU’s Strategic Plan 2025.”

In 2012, LSU lagged the SEC peer average in “almost every key technology transfer metric,” BRAC found.

By 2016, the school had grown the number of invention disclosures by 97 percent, from 88 to 173. That figure is the “best evidence that the innovation culture at LSU is changing for the better,” BRAC wrote.

BRAC recommended that LSU increase research expenditures, which fell by 3 percent over the period, while the SEC peer average in spending rose by 11 percent. Industry-sponsored research spending fell by 40 percent at LSU during the period, while the SEC peer average increased by 21 percent.

LSU’s license income fell slightly during the period from $10.3 million to $9.5 million. Both outpaced the SEC peer average.