Next on the ATIC docket is finding the best candidate to run the operation. LEDA President Gregg Gothreaux says a search committee has recently forwarded him three finalists for the job of the center's director and he plans to fill the position in the coming weeks. The new ATIC director ' set to make an upper five-figure salary ' will primarily be a salesman for the center and also will become LEDA's chief information officer. (The state granted LEDA and ULL a $17 million grant for the construction of ATIC, which is expected to operate self-sufficiently after its opening.) Offices rented out to the university and other businesses are expected to cover the bulk of the building's basic maintenance, but the visualization lab has yet to secure an operating fund. The new director's main job will be lining up clients.
ATIC's main attraction will be its six-sided "immersive visualization cave" ' one of less than 10 in the world. Planners say the center will provide businesses and researchers with a one-of-a-kind tool. Other visualization centers are now being used for oil and gas companies to explore seismic data, for engineers to design and test machinery, and for training programs for a variety of workers including utility techs and emergency responders. UL, which is also a partner on the project, is in the process of bringing in new researchers and staff to work specifically with ATIC.
According to sources close to the project, SGI's bid includes building what would now rank as one of the top 100 supercomputers in the world for the center, supplying the majority of its other computers and electronics and bringing in business to help with the visualization center's operating costs. SGI will share revenue with ATIC for services it sells out of the center to its corporate clients. The SGI name will also be attached in some form to the ATIC center.
"In the end, after all was said and done, [SGI] offered the most comprehensive package," says a source at UL.
SGI is best known for the technology it develops for big name clients from Hollywood to Washington, D.C. The company provides some of the cutting edge innovations used in major film studio special effects and in the national government's satellite surveillance and anti-ballistic missile defense systems. SGI also is the technological force behind Landmark Graphics, a Halliburton-owned software and visualization service provider for oil and gas exploration.
SGI landed the ATIC contract after more than a year of negotiating between LEDA, the university and the country's top computer manufacturers. The other finalists for the contract included IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Sun Microsystems. Sources say LEDA was set to award the contract to IBM in July, before IBM pulled back on its proposal due to its own internal deliberations. As a result, ATIC now represents SGI's first substantial venture into Louisiana.
"I think SGI will pay more attention to [the center]," says a source close to the negotiations. "In the grand scope of things, this is statistically significant to them. Plus IBM is already in the state and SGI wasn't and now they are."
Mike Harson's coffers show the advantage of incumbency.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote on an ordinance for final adoption Tuesday that, if approved, would give the city the green light to take over a stretch of Verot School Road from the state Department of Transportation and Development.
The Louisiana Association of Educators filed a lawsuit challenging the $60 million in spending through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
He's been out of office for nearly a decade, but former U.S. Sen. John Breaux is back on the campaign trail, urging voters to support his one-time colleague, Democrat Mary Landrieu.
The unresolved fate of the ashes left behind after Ebola waste was destroyed in Texas highlights the problem U.S. hospitals and communities could face in disposing of their own waste.
While much of the talk was about whether New Orleans could win a big game — or any game, for that matter — on the road, the conversation in the Saints' locker room was about something completely different.
State health officials told thousands of doctors planning to attend a tropical diseases meeting this weekend in New Orleans to stay away if they have been to certain African countries or have had contact with an Ebola patient in the last 21 days.
Republicans are calling on Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu to apologize after she suggested Thursday that President Barack Obama's deep unpopularity in the South is partly tied to race.
Compared to the rest of the country, Lafayette has it pretty good when it comes to the cost and speed of our Internet.
Hello Kitty turns 40; police ambush suspect caught; Knicks surprise Cavs and more national and international news for Friday, October 31, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."
A state district judge said he will rule Friday on a preliminary injunction to keep some charter schools from receiving $60 million through Louisiana's public school financing formula.