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Gov. Edwards commits $10 million in Capital Outlay to the Cyber Innovation Center

by Minden Press-Herald

BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards joined local, state and federal officials in Bossier City Monday at the Cyber Innovation Center to commit $10 million in Capital Outlay funding to build a new, state-of-the-art Louisiana Tech Research Institute (LTRI) at the National Cyber Research Park.

The LTRI facility will provide a specially designed collaborative space that will enable Louisiana Tech University, other major national universities, national labs, and the defense industry to collaborate in advancing national security education, training, research and innovation in support of U.S. Air Force and Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) and other defense organizations. The facility will have a unique ability to support the sensitive advancement and protection of our nation’s security, which is imperative as AFGSC represents two-thirds of the nuclear triad. 

“The new LTRI facility will gives us a tremendous competitive advantage to attract the best and brightest and keep them right here in North Louisiana. LTRI is uniquely positioned to drive systemic and sustainable economic growth across the region and across our state,” Gov. Edwards said. “It’s an exciting day for the state of Louisiana, and today’s announcement is further proof that we are moving in the right direction. The I-20 Cyber Corridor is booming and everyone from the private sector to the Department of Defense is taking notice.” 

LTRI is an established 501C3 and has been developed from the productive collaborations between Louisiana Tech University, the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC), and the Bossier Community to support the growth and secure the sustainability of Barksdale Air Force Base (BAFB) including Air Force Global Strike Command (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. 

“LTRI, along with Cyber Innovation Center, will provide our region and our state with the next step in growing our knowledge based economy supporting Air Force Global Strike and other government agencies in national security results. Our vision from a decade ago is becoming more and more of a reality with each building,” said Craig Spohn, Executive Director of Cyber Innovation Center.

“The City of Bossier City is proud of its investment, along with that of Bossier Parish and the State of Louisiana, in the National Cyber Research Park. The Louisiana Tech Research Institute will be the fourth facility built in the last decade and, like its predecessors, will bring more opportunity for economic diversification and career choices for our city, our region, and our state,” stated Mayor Lorenz “Lo” Walker.

The combined efforts of the State of Louisiana, Bossier City, and Bossier Parish established the National Cyber Research Park and a cyber corridor that begins here in Bossier Parish and continues through Ruston and Monroe. This cyber corridor boosts North Louisiana’s economy and, thus, the state’s economy. The new technology sector now rivals the oil and gas sector and now exceeds the manufacturing sector in Bossier City.  This was set in motion by master planning and discipline to follow that plan for the last decade. 

“This $10 million dollar investment for the Louisiana Tech Research Institute is a significant boost to the I-20 Cyber Corridor. This new facility will be a major economic driver for our area that demonstrates Louisiana’s steadfast commitment to the emerging technology sector. Today’s announcement is yet another example of Governor John Bel Edwards’ commitment to North Louisiana,” said Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins.

Bossier and Caddo Parishes share an important and vital relationship with Barksdale Air Force Base. The Interstate 220 entrance into the base will allow next-door access to the National Cyber Research Park and the facilities within like the Cyber Innovation Center and LTRI.

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