After Shreveport’s economic downturn in the 1980’s, the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce created the Biomedical Research Foundation. It was initially created as a force to diversify the local economy. Now it’s become one of the largest employers in the region and a community stronghold for economic development through innovative programs.
When the price of oil dropped to $14 per barrel, many companies that were the anchors for Shreveport’s economy either left town or shut down. In response, The Shreveport Chamber of Commerce commissioned an economic development study which resulted in the formation of the Biomedical Research Foundation to help diversify our economy into other industry sectors.
The LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport adopted a goal to expand its medical research capacity to recruit more faculty, conduct more research and develop innovative products. The BRF constructed a plan and began the fundraising effort to transform this plan into a reality.
Biomed Facility Opens
The $36 million Virginia K. Shehee Biomedical Research Institute opened with 56 state-of-the-art research laboratories connected to the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport. This is the first facility in the soon-to-be developed InterTech Science Park.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Center Opens
The state and region’s first Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Center opened in the Virginia K. Shehee Biomedical Research Institute. PET expedited the diagnosis and treatment process for cancer patients as well as advanced research on many other diseases. The BRF also launched STEM education programs for local high school students to assist in educating future innovators and workers for the region.
Intertech is Established
The BRF and teams of local civic leaders announced plans to create the InterTech Science Park, an 800-acre science and technology park in central Shreveport.
Intertech Building Completed
The BRF constructed its second InterTech Science Park facility, a 33,000 sq. ft. cleanroom manufacturing facility on Kings Highway.
PAMLAB/Red River Pharma Starts Operations
PAMLAB/Red River Pharma, a manufacturer and distributor of pharmaceutical products, moved into the InterTech and quickly grew to over 40 employees with manufacturing, packaging and cleanroom operations and facilities. Nestlé Health Science– the world’s largest nutrition company— acquired Red River Pharma in 2013 with plans to expand in the InterTech.
Third Intertech Building Completed
The 66,000 sq. ft. InterTech 1 facility opened in the InterTech Park. Moonbot Studios moved in and began to create Louisiana’s first full service animation studio under the direction of Emmy Award-winning author and illustrator William Joyce.
Our Rapid Growth
The InterTech Science Park grew to 12 facilities and 366,000 sq ft. of space, housing 25 tenants whose 360 employees generated an annual payroll of $15 million, and earned an average annual wage of $50,000.
Moonbot Studios grew to over 25 employees and won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short for “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”
University Health System Opens
The BRF stepped forward to save the former LSU hospitals in Monroe and Shreveport when no other entity was willing to accept management of north Louisiana’s two safety net hospitals as part of the State’s hospital privatization plan. BRF formed a wholly owned subsidiary named University Health and hired internationally renowned firm Alvarez and Marsal to manage the transition. The transition was completed in 135 days and retained over 3,200 jobs and more than $800 million in annual economic impact for Shreveport and north Louisiana through the two hospitals. UH is home to state-designated Centers of Excellence including the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, is one of just six hospitals associated with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and operates the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center.
CMIT is Launched
The Center for Molecular Imaging and Therapy transforms the way doctors discover and treat diseases. The Center hosts advanced clinical trials, offers cutting-edge healthcare solutions for patients and provides research opportunities for scientists. It also produces and distributes radiopharmaceuticals used for the speedy detection of medical conditions.
DMII is Launched
The Digital Media Institute at InterTech prepares students through a one-year accelerated program offering experience in animation, visual artifacts and computer graphics for film and interactive gaming in a real-world atmosphere. The Institute’s mission is to deliver rapid 21st century training to students to prepare them for careers in digital media.
EAP is Launched
The Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP), launched in 2014, seeks out and evaluates new products and ideas, and with its team of professional analysts, helps entrepreneurs determine the best business model for their product and grooms them to present their product to investors.
ORDA is Launched
The BRF created the Office for Research Development and Administration (ORDA) in 2015 to seek and pursue new research initiatives and provide support for the conduct of clinical trials towards new treatments and diagnostics, improvement of patient care and economic development of North Louisiana.
University Health Excels
University Health outlined year one improvements at the former state run hospitals which included improved earnings by approximately $80 million; reduced expenses to the State by $49 million as reported by Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH); reduced patient referral queues from 12,000 to 1,200; reduced wait times for MRIs from 60 days to 2 days; and continued support for the academic and teaching mission of LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport with over $160 million in payments.