Shell donates $27.5M to LSU energy research initiatives

LSU's campus in Baton Rouge.

Shell USA is donating $27.5 million to LSU to create the LSU Institute for Energy Innovation and support the construction of the previously announced Our Lady of the Lake Interdisciplinary Science Building, the school announced at an event last week. 

This latest investment by Shell marks the university’s largest gift from a for-profit corporation and its largest gift in support of energy-related initiatives.

Shell will dedicate $25 million to launching the LSU Institute for Energy Innovation and $2.5 million to the interdisciplinary science building, anchoring Shell’s campus presence through a highly visible, Shell-branded space for research and learning.

LSU says the partnership and philanthropic gift exemplify the university’s commitment to working with industry leaders as part of President William Tate’s “scholarship first agenda.”

“Energy represents a central driver of Louisiana’s economy, and Louisiana buttresses the nation’s energy supply, putting LSU in the unique position to partner with industry to discover innovative methods to fuel our nation,” Tate says in a prepared statement.

Shell’s $25 million commitment to the new institute will provide funding for a five-year vision for the institute rooted in five work streams: talent, research and development, policy and economics, social and environmental justice, and technology transfer and commercialization. The institute will be led by a full-time executive director, with guidance from an advisory committee and be supported by steering committees, professionals in residence and graduate assistants.

Approximately $6.4 million of Shell’s gift will be directed toward diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives centered on faculty and student support and workforce development within the energy industry. Shell’s gift will be further maximized through the state’s recent $5 million commitment of one-time funds to improve energy and carbon capture research at LSU.

Shell’s $2.5 million gift in support of the interdisciplinary science building will be used to construct a 148,000-square-foot, four-story portion of the center. Located on the corner of Tower Drive and South Stadium Drive, the $109 million building will serve as a hub for LSU faculty and students across science disciplines to collaborate on nearly $35 million in annual research awards. Included within the space will be a CCUS-focused energy incubator, providing seamless integration with the work of the Institute for Energy Innovation.

Shell’s gift is part of the university’s $1.5 billion Fierce for the Future Campaign.