The Data Center Releases The Coastal Index 2017

NEW ORLEANS – The Data Center released its Coastal Index 2017 report today and the following:


         Now that the state legislature has approved the 2017 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan, economic development leaders are touting the thousands of jobs that will be created by the implementation of the plan.

         There is no doubt, that with more than $8 billion from BP, the execution of the Master Plan will generate thousands of jobs. But, these jobs will not be sustained once the BP settlement funding runs out in 15 years.

         One of the few ways these jobs might continue is if the industry becomes a self-sustaining cluster. To become a self-sustaining cluster, Louisiana must not only develop scientific preeminence in the field of flood risk reduction, but also effectively commercialize that science and market it to national and global markets that will soon face similar challenges.

         Louisiana has many weaknesses in the economic, social, and political factors that have been shown to affect the ability of a region to develop a set of interconnected, innovative business that grow in size and scope as they drive innovation in their field.

         For example, our data reveals that the dearth of educated workforce in Southeast Louisiana will be an obstacle to growing the cluster. The exceedingly low rate of patenting will provide another hurdle to growing the commercialization of that science in the region. And, investment capital is concentrated in New Orleans, while major research institutions are in Baton Rouge 80 miles away, thus making it difficult to connect investors with inventors.

         The Coastal Index 2017 measures economic, social, and political factors that have been shown to affect the formations of clusters in the U.S., as well as provides a roadmap for how leaders can build on strengths and address weaknesses to create a self-sustaining water management cluster for Louisiana.

         View the Coastal Index 2017 here


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