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."
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
US cities bidding on Olympics; Guard prevents more Ferguson riots; storm threatens travel and more national and international news for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.
The Ethics Board gives the lame duck Youngsville mayor permission to offer a sweet parting gift to the community he’s presided over for three terms.