The Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative was signed into law in 2007 to provide Missouri’s colleges and universities with $335 million in total funding for facility and infrastructure improvements. LCDI is a statewide plan to enhance the Missouri higher education system’s position as a national leader in scientific research and education. New research labs, teaching facilities, business incubators, and a plant science research center will be constructed. Funds provided by the initiative will be augmented by more than $230 million in federal and local matching money, resulting in a total investment of approximately $550 million, one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive higher education building programs.
In addition to these funds targeted toward research and education, $15 million was earmarked to the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) for various programs designed to improve commercialization of Missouri technologies. MTC will utilize these funds to work with the state’s research institutions, industry, technology commercialization service providers, and capital investors to maximize the opportunities created by Missouri research. Programs include:
- Ag Biotech Company Recruitment Fund ($3.35 million) - Funds will be used to recruit and retain ag biotech companies to the state.
- Opportunity Fund for Bioenergy Research Center/National Bio and Agro-defense Facility ($3.25 million) - Funds will be used to boost the state's competitiveness in seeking major federal research facilities, including one of three federal Bioenergy Research Centers and the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility to be awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
- MTC Entrepreneur Pipeline Program ($1.5 million) - This is a new program designed to match entrepreneurs with high-tech products to create fast-growing high-tech jobs.
- Plant and Ag Biotech Seed Capital Co-Investment Fund ($1.5 million) - Funding will be used to invest alongside promising early-stage plant and ag biotech companies.
- High Tech Small Business Development Incentive Program ($1.25 million) - Funds will be used as loans for high-tech small businesses that apply for and receive federal SBIR/STTR grants.
- Intellectual Property Management Fund ($1.1 million) - Funding will provide resources to seek protection of the state's investment in intellectual property.
- St. Louis Information Technology Initiatives ($1 million) - Funding will be used to leverage local dollars invested in making St. Louis a leader in the creation of Information Technology jobs and companies through the University of Missouri St. Louis High Performance Computing Center and Innovate St. Louis.
- Medical Device Innovation Program ($350,000) - This program seeks to mentor student fellows through the process of successfully bringing new patented surgical devices and engineered health care solutions into the health care market.
- High Tech Marketing Promotion Fund ($350,000) - This matching marketing program is designed to encourage Missouri companies designated within the Department of Economic Development's targeted high-tech industries to seek out new international markets.
- Missouri Open Innovation Network( ($250,000) - Funding will assist in setting up a web-based portal for accessing innovation data from all Missouri R&D organizations.
- Missouri Power Resource Center( ($200,000) - Funding will provide for the planning and development of the Power Resource Center to focus on cutting-edge technology related to power and next-generation batteries in the fields of nanotechnology, nano-materials and micro devices.
- AgBio Outreach Program (($125,000) - Funding will complement a federally supported project to challenge communities to leverage rural Missouri's interest in becoming energy independent and to strengthen K-12 science curriculum.
- Emerging Firms Mapping Project (($50,000) - This project involves the mapping of Missouri's high-tech entrepreneurial firms to assist in national marketing efforts.