By Stacey Tinsley, BIZ. Magazine
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday, Aug. 24 for the Louisiana Tech Research Institute (LTRI).
Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony celebrated the progress made on the future home of LTRI. The facility enables Louisiana Tech University to partner in new ways with industry and defense partners, provides Air Force Global Strike Command with a dedicated research and development and applied research center, attracts talent and industry, and serves as the official home for defense-related education for north Louisiana.
Gov. John Bel Edwards noted the community’s important relationship with Barksdale, specifically the base’s impact on the area’s economy.
“This is a $28-Million investment that is going to greatly enhance national security because of the partnership with Barksdale Air Force Base,” said Edwards. “It’s going to help us attract and retain talent.”
Edwards also stated that the I-20 Cyber Corridor is booming and everyone from the private sector to the Department of Defense is taking notice.
In late 2019, Edwards announced the state’s commitment of $10 million in Capital Outlay funding to build LTRI at the National Cyber Research Park.
Attendees at the ceremony also heard remarks from Louisiana Tech President Dr. Les Guice and Cyber Innovation Center Executive Director Craig Spohn.
“Fourteen years ago, we decided that we wanted to improve the quality of life of Bossier City, and we wanted to do that through a knowledge based economy. And today, there are as many people working in that sector as there are in the oil and gas sector in Bossier Parish,” said Spohn. “There are $150 million dollars of household incomes that weren’t there. That’s a 100% return on investment every year on the original investment on the four buildings you see out behind me.”
“All of this has been accomplished with my partnership with my good friend Dr. Les Guice. Without his help, I couldn’t have done any of this,” Spohn added.
LTRI will mark the fourth, and final, building originally planned for the current cyber park configuration.
The LTRI center is set to be completed in summer 2022.
LTRI is an established 501C3 and has been developed from the productive collaborations between Louisiana Tech, CIC, and the Bossier community to support the growth and secure the sustainability of Barksdale Air Force Base, including AFGSC and leverage this presence for new and accelerated regional economic growth opportunities. LTRI fosters collaboration among government partners, academia, and industry and serve as the official home for strategic thought-, cyber-, defense-, and intelligence-related education, training, and workforce development programs for North Louisiana.