Posted: Feb 24, 2013 12:20 PM by katc
A new state program will gather ideas to improve the results, lower the cost and cut the time required to build projects under Louisiana's master plan for coastal restoration.
The Coastal Innovation Partnership Program's first round of applications will be accepted from March 1 through March 22 with a one-page application will be available at http://www.thewaterinstitute.org/innovation starting March 1, said Natalie Peyronnin, senior scientist with the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.
The Advocate reports the program is a partnership of the authority and the Water Institute of the Gulf, a nonprofit organization that will manage applications, review them and present a report to the authority.
The program will be a more formal way to review ideas that get presented to the state and is a recognition that the state doesn't have all the answers when it comes to coastal restoration and protection, she said.
"The goal of this innovation program is really to improve outcomes," Peyronnin said.
In the short term, the focus will be on innovations for which data is available showing the effectiveness of the idea, she said.
In the long term, ideas that may be more untested also will be considered.
No funding is currently available for development or testing of the ideas. The process will put applicants in a better position for future projects and will provide applicants with feedback because many times people come to the state with ideas but don't have enough information to prove their ideas' effectiveness.
The application process will run twice a year; the first report to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is expected in June.
Peyronnin said it's hard to tell whether more applications will come from individuals, universities, businesses or other groups.