Thursday, April 18, 2024

EDA selects LSU Offshore Wind Consortium for new U.S. Tech Hubs program

by BIZ Magazine

Recognizing Louisiana’s emerging global leadership, President Joe Biden and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration announced today that it has selected the Gulf Louisiana Offshore Wind Propeller (GLOW) as one of 31 newly designated U.S. Tech Hubs.

The Tech Hubs program, authorized by the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, aims to drive regional innovation and job creation by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize and deploy technology that advances American competitiveness. GLOW, a Louisiana State University-led consortium of higher education, research, economic development and industry partners, was chosen from among a pool of nearly 400 applicants.

“For nearly a century, Louisiana has been at the forefront of our nation’s domestic offshore energy production,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “By helping universities, companies and technical colleges in Louisiana develop critical offshore wind technology and know-how, this program will help Louisiana stay a leader for the next century. I would like to thank the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, as well as Rep. Troy Carter, Sen. Bill Cassidy and President Biden for their support of the CHIPS and Science Act that makes this important work possible.”

The GLOW Propeller consortium brings together five universities (LSU, Southern, Tulane, UNO and Xavier), two community colleges (Delgado and Nunez), industry (Gulf Wind Technologies, RWE and Sev1Tech), as well as Greater New Orleans, Inc., the Water Institute of the Gulf, Louisiana Economic Development, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, City of New Orleans and Port Fourchon, the nation’s leading offshore energy port located in Lafourche Parish.

“LSU’s Scholarship First agenda recognizes Louisiana’s pivotal role in research and talent development within the ever-evolving energy industry,” LSU President William F. Tate IV said. “This highly competitive U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration award affirms that collaborations between LSU, higher education partners and industry leaders further bolster our capacity and accelerate our novel approach to driving talent and technology advancements in emerging energy sectors.”

LSU’s lead on the project is its National Center for Advanced Manufacturing (NCAM), as offshore wind development relies directly on capabilities to engineer, design and transport advanced materials. Offshore wind development in the Gulf of Mexico poses unique challenges – including lower average wind speeds, softer soils and more major storm events than other offshore wind sites – which the LSU consortium aims to address.

The 2022 CHIPS and Science Act authorized the Tech Hubs program at $10 billion. Designation as a Tech Hub allows the consortium to apply for an EDA grant of between $40 million and $70 million for implementation of its plan to accelerate offshore wind research and development in Louisiana.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is rooted in policies that will empower the United States to out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Our Tech Hubs Program is fundamental to that mission and will supercharge innovation across the nation by spurring cutting-edge technological investments and creating 21st century job opportunities in people’s backyards.”

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