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."
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.