BATON ROUGE – Today, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) visited Lafayette, where he learned more about the efforts of local leaders to boost the area economy and improve the research potential of University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
First, he toured FlyGuys, Inc., a nationwide drone services company that delivers aerial data collection for public sector entities and commercial industries, including energy, agriculture, construction, engineering, transportation and transmission and distribution. FlyGuys benefitted from a $2 million investment enabled by the New Markets Tax Credit, and Cassidy has co-sponsored bi-partisan legislation to make that tax credit permanent. Thanks to this investment and the tax credit, FlyGuys will be able to triple in size to almost 45 employees, and compete with companies on the East and West Coasts.
“Ride-share for drones with pilots being deployed across the country—this is all happening in Lafayette, Louisiana,” said Dr. Cassidy. “At FlyGuys, creativity meets opportunity. What a great inspiration for others to do the same thing right here in Lafayette, right here in Louisiana.”
While there, Cassidy remotely flew a drone. He was welcomed by Mr. Adam Zayor, CEO of FlyGuys, Inc.
“We would like to thank Senator Cassidy for visiting the FlyGuys team today,” said Mr. Zayor. “We discussed the start-up economy and the future of the drone industry—both of which are extremely promising for the state of Louisiana.”
Later, Cassidy joined officials at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to celebrate the school’s designation as a R1 University, according to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The R1 designation is for Universities with “very high research activity,” and only 137 in the country have that classification. Being an R1 University will help UL-Lafayette attract high-quality students and faculty, make UL-Lafayette more competitive for research grants, and attract companies that rely on research universities to Acadiana.
“UL-Lafayette is the nation’s newest top-tier research institution,” said Dr. Cassidy. “They showed the dedication and had the talent to make it happen. As they pass this on to current and future students, the student benefits, our state benefits, and our country benefits.”
Cassidy was joined by Dr. Joseph Savoie, President of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
“UL-Lafayette is the nation’s newest top-tier research institution. They showed the dedication and had the talent to make it happen. As they pass this on to current and future students, the student benefits, our state benefits, and our country benefits,” said Dr. Savoie.