In 2012, the LSU AgCenter Office of Intellectual Property celebrated its 25th anniversary. During that time it grew to be the leader in commercialization of intellectual property within the LSU System and, in fact, within higher education in Louisiana. Since 2000, 14 new companies have been started based on licensing technology from the AgCenter. Royalties from these companies and from other licensing agreements are distributed among the LSU System, the inventors and the AgCenter, where funds are funneled back into more research. The most lucrative of these licensing agreements has been with the international chemical company BASF for a herbicide-resistant line of rice varieties known as Clearfield. The successful commercialization of intellectual property has come about because of the research culture within the LSU AgCenter. This culture has focused on applied research – research conducted with practical implications for the clientele. Since 1887, when research first began in the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station – the research arm of the AgCenter – scientists have aimed their efforts at practical solutions for the problems of growing food and fiber and raising livestock in a subtropical climate. To advance the adoption of new technology, the research culture in the AgCenter also has involved close working relationships with businesses and industry. The LSU AgCenter is one of the nation’s best examples of how an institution of higher education can serve as a stimulus to economic growth. Its history is one of keeping the agriculture industry in the state alive and thriving. Its record is one of conducting research with practical, immediate application and in collaborative partnerships with business and industry.
Facts about LSU AgCenter intellectual property:
Successful companies resulting from LSU AgCenter licensing agreements include: Esperance
Esperance Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a Baton Rouge-based biopharmaceutical company that develops novel targeted anticancer agents based on patented technologies from the LSU AgCenter, Pennington Biomedical Research Center and LSU A&M.
TigerBullets are a new type of plastic-and-wood composite that prevents lost circulation in oil drilling wells. The technology was licensed from the LSU AgCenter by the Louisiana startup company Hole Pluggers. The company has entered into a worldwide distribution agreement with MI Swaco (a subsidiary of Halliburton).
Delta Land Services
Delta Land Services is a varied company that has partnered with the LSU AgCenter to develop a marsh remediation and coastal restoration technology. Delta is a local Louisiana company commercializing the LSU AgCenter technology under the trade name Shore Links to deliver a low-cost solution for coastal wetland protection and restoration.
Clearfield rice is a herbicide-resistant rice developed by the LSU AgCenter and grown around the world under exclusive license to BASF. This technology revolutionized the rice industry. It allows farmers to make considerable progress against the weed red rice. Because Clearfield is herbicide-resistant, farmers can use herbicides to kill the red rice without harming the commercial rice. The technology allows farmers to drill-seed rice into dry soil instead of water-seeding from the air, which is more expensive and can lead to more soil loss from the fields.
“Looking back is not nearly as exciting as looking forward,” said Wade Baumgartner, director of the Office of Intellectual Property. “Over the next five years, it is the goal of the AgCenter’s Office of Intellectual Property to remake technology transfer on our campus. We will continue the traditional functions of technology transfer – patenting, material transfers and licensing. But more importantly, we want to build a community among our researchers, Louisiana businesses and investors, and small businesses and entrepreneurs.
“The formula for success in the next 25 years will be the same as in the previous 25 years – having the right people with the right attitude moving in concert toward a worthwhile goal.”
The LSU AgCenter is one of 10 institutions of higher education in the Louisiana State University System. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, it provides educational services in every parish and conducts research and extension programs that contribute to the economic development of the state. The LSU AgCenter plays an integral role in supporting agricultural industries, enhancing the environment, and improving the quality of life through nutrition education and 4-H youth, family and community programs.
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