The University of New Orleans (UNO) Research and Technology Park — a 30-acre site on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain leveraging 800,000 square feet of customizable office and laboratory space where public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private companies come to innovate and create through technological, cultural, and scientific interaction — has rebranded as The Beach at UNO effective immediately. The comprehensive rebrand, which includes a new website, social media handles, logo and tagline, aims to reflect the park’s collaborative and inclusive community which fosters a spirit of inquiry and the exchange of ideas to maximize innovation and shared prosperity throughout the Gulf region.
Established in the mid-90’s, the park is owned and managed by the UNO Research & Technology Foundation (R&T Foundation) — a public-private partnership with the university created with the mission to support the research, scholarship, and commercialization activities at UNO and to advance the development of the Greater New Orleans community in collaboration with public and private sectors. The park is the R&T Foundation’s most valuable asset. Together, the park and UNO generate an annual economic impact of approximately $1 billion for the city and region.
“The New Orleans business and entrepreneurial ecosystem is burgeoning with much opportunity for growth,” said R&T Foundation President and CEO Rebecca Conwell. “Our city benefits from a great depth of brilliant and inspired minds and a network of support for the innovative process. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, businesses and entrepreneurs continue to need supportive, inclusive workspaces that provide amenities, access to equipment and peer organizations, as well as a relationship with the institution that supports their growth — and that is exactly what they will find at The Beach.”
Just steps away from the university, The Beach stands to serve as an essential player in the region’s business and entrepreneurial ecosystem development, functioning as a bridge from start-up to growth and growing networks that build an entrepreneurial community. The entrepreneurial campus atmosphere encourages research, development, technology advancement, training, and educational opportunities, strengthening economic competitiveness and workforce development. Through the public-private partnership, tenants at The Beach have the unique opportunity to form relationships with a well-trained, market-ready workforce and students for co-op programs, internships, part-time, or full-time employment.
“The park has long been one of the University of New Orleans’ closest partners, and we are so excited about this re-energized partnership,” said UNO President John Nicklow. “The Beach combines the best of the Foundation and UNO, providing tenants with access to world-class laboratory space, research equipment, and talent beyond the borders of the research park, bringing out the best of academia, government, and entrepreneurial endeavors. The university — with nationally recognized undergraduate, graduate, and research programs within the Colleges of Business Administration; Liberal Arts, Education & Human Development; Engineering; and Sciences — offers The Beach tenants the unique opportunity to engage in joint proposals, collaborate on research projects with university researchers, and supplement their workforce through internships for undergraduate and graduate students.”
The reimagining and rebranding of the research park to The Beach is one of the first actions of the implementation of the R&T Foundation’s 2019 strategic plan, which aims to ensure that the Southeast is recognized as a resource-rich and entrepreneurial community-driven epicenter of complex social, scientific, and business breakthroughs. Over the next year, there will be several real estate projects that will enhance the park and best reflect the vibrant entrepreneurial culture, such as updated lobbies, collaborative outdoor space and a crosswalk across Lakeshore Drive connecting the two campuses. Following those improvements, the Foundation will move to focus on transforming the Lindy C. Boggs International Conference Center into a state-of-the-art facility, updated to meet the demands of tenants, UNO faculty and students, and the greater innovation community.
On top of the real estate improvements to take place within the park, an additional component of the strategic plan to soon be implemented is the development of a programmatic division of the R&T Foundation. The focus of this division will be innovation and collaboration, supporting the growth of its current tenants and creating pathways for new companies to succeed leveraging the dynamic culture of innovation within The Beach community.
“The Foundation believes The Beach will increase the quality of life and number of wealth-building pathways for UNO stakeholders and the broader region,” said R&T Foundation Board Chair David Gallo. “Our Board of Directors dedicate their time and expertise to the consistent growth of the ideas, businesses, and people in our community that includes equity and inclusivity for all — one that places a priority on collaboration and strong communication. We are committed to working with UNO and our community stakeholders to bring even more innovation to the park. We’re excited about pursuing opportunities with the blue economy, military and technology innovation, food economy — the future at The Beach is very bright.”
During a press conference announcing the rebrand earlier today, Gallo also committed that the Foundation will be authorizing financial resources of up to $100,000 a year from its net revenue to incentivize research projects and scholarly activity between tenants, UNO faculty and students.
The Beach currently has over 30 tenants spanning a variety of industries including IT/cybersecurity, logistics and lab testing, coastal protection and wildlife management, naval architecture and marine engineering, nonprofits and government, and banking.
For more information, visit The Beach’s website at www.TheBeachUNO.org.