Sandia Resort & Casino Golf Club was the site of the second statewide technology showcase held on October 11th and hosted by Innovate New Mexico®, the statewide collaborative technology- transfer program for New Mexico’s research universities (UNM, NM State, NM Tech) and national labs (Sandia, Los Alamos, and Air Force Research Labs). The panoramic views of the majestic Sandia mountains were matched by an impressive display of innovative technology presentations and home grown start-up companies.
Approximately 250 registered attendees comprised of national companies and investors and local entrepreneurs, investors, and business professionals listened to technology pitches from faculty and lab inventors and connected with start-up companies and inventors for possible business opportunities during several networking sessions and an end-of-event reception.
The Innovate New Mexico® program, established in 2015, is essentially a network among the leading research institutions in the state that provides easy access for entrepreneurs, investors, and companies to New Mexico’s research and technology opportunities, start-up companies, and economic development resources. The technology showcases, presented in the fall and spring, are but one example of what the budding program plans to offer to fulfill its vision to make New Mexico “The State of Innovation” by 2020.
Welcome remarks were again given by Deputy Cabinet Secretary Barbara Brazil from the New Mexico Economic Development Department.
“Innovate New Mexico highlights a unique ecosystem of innovation that creates diversity, which leads to a more robust economy. Innovation is stifled when we stay in silos but flourishes when we collaborate. We are reading in the media on a daily basis about how the New Mexico innovation economy continues to grow, helped this year by the New Mexico Technology Research Collaborative’s grants to six start-up companies with follow-on investment, the JTIP job training program, and the new $40 million Catalyst Fund that will soon be investing in New Mexico-based start-ups.”
The technology showcase portion of the event consisted of 12 short presentations by inventors of technologies from UNM, NM State, NM Tech, and Sandia, Los Alamos, and Air Force Research (AFRL) Labs. Helpful feedback was provided by a panel of “friendly sharks” comprised of local entrepreneurs and investors. Innovate New Mexico wishes to thank Lucrece Borrego (Senior Financial Analyst, Camino Real Capital Partners LLC), Charles Call (CEO, ActiveClean by Clean Spot), John Chavez (President, New Mexico Angels), Wayne Laslie (President & CEO, Zocere, Inc.), Mathis Shinnick (CEO, Allied Photon), and Loraine Upham (Executive Director, ABQid).
Below is a brief description of the technologies:
- A next generation green masonry block made from recycled paper – NM Tech
- A synthetic aperture approach (imaging interferometric microscopy) for super resolution images from optical microscopes – UNM
- A graphene-based hybrid material for chemical synthesis and separation – NM Tech
- A high-power microwave zoom antenna using metal plate lenses – AFRL
- A hydrocarbon membrane for energy and electrochemical systems –Sandia
- A structural panel that integrates fluid channels without degrading mass efficiency – AFRL
- A non-invasive molecular imaging probe to diagnose and treat infectious diseases – UNM
- A magneto-inertial fusion reactor using plasma jets – Los Alamos
- An IT security and encryption program uing Huffman coding – NM State
- A low-energy, chlorine-tolerant membrane for desalination – Sandia
- A high efficiency heat exchanger that improves surface wetting for copper, aluminum and brass – New Mexico State
- A novel, data-driven model for geothermal exploration – Los Alamos
Go to www.innovatenewmexico.com/technologies/ to view the technology summaries.
Lunch Panel – Start-Ups in New Mexico
During lunch, attendees were treated to a panel discussion on start-ups in New Mexico. The panel of five New Mexico start-up CEOs discussed the challenges and advantages for start-ups in New Mexico and individual future plans for their companies. The discussion was moderated by Jennifer Sinsabaugh, Center Director, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
Panel participants included Christopher Acton, VP for Operations and Services, RiskSense; R. Terry Dunlay, Founder, President & CEO, Intellicyt (A Sartorius Company); Hunter McDaniel, Founder & CEO, UbiQD, LLC; Murat Okandan, CEO & CTO, mPower Technology, Inc.; and Lucas Smith, Founder & CEO, EcoSeal. The companies represented all stages of growth from regulatory and product beta testing to strategic and customer partnership formation, to national and international sales expansion and acquisition.
Big challenges for start-ups in New Mexico continue to be available seed-stage funding and a trained technical work force. Big advantages, however, include the business friendly programs such as tax credits, the JTIP job training, LEDA, NMSBA, grants provided by the state, and the proximity to and close affiliation with the technology-transfer programs at the state’s research institutions. The panelists praised the state’s efforts to nurture the start-up ecosystem.
Several other start-up CEO’s were on hand to showcase their companies and network with attendees, including New Mexico Start-Up Factory, Cylenta, Active Clean, Zocere, Inc., Biophagy, Enthentica, BioSafe, Avisa, UbiQD, EquiSeq, MEP, OptiPulse, and ElectroSeq.
The day ended with closing remarks by Carlos Gutierrez and Larry Alei. Mr. Gutierrez, is a strategic alliances/innovation ecosystem specialist in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). The MBDA is the only federal agency established solely to create jobs through the growth and global competitiveness of minority-owned businesses in the United States. MBDA coordinates and leverages public and private sector resources to provide access to capital, contracts and markets. Mr. Alei is a board member-at-large on the New Mexico Technology Research Collaborative.
See also Kevin Robinson-Avila’s October 11, 2016 article, “NM innovations pique companies’ interest,” from the Albuquerque Journal, reprinted below.
NM innovations pique companies’ interest
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A novel, sustainable construction material made from recycled paper and cardboard piqued the interest of at least one new-technology scout Tuesday morning at the Innovate New Mexico Technology Showcase in Albuquerque.
Nakayama Kazunori of Japan’s Shimizu Corp. said his company — which manages construction, architecture and engineering services –— can see using the material in low-cost sustainable housing or disaster prevention and recovery infrastructure, such as containment walls to protect against tsunamis like the one that battered Japan in 2010.
The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, which is commercializing the material, presented it to showcase participants as a low-cost alternative to things like concrete or adobe that can reduce landfill waste.
“It’s an innovative material that could address our core business operations by introducing sustainability in building construction,” Kazunori said. “There’s a growing market for that type of thing. I could see many applications for it.”
Kazunori was one of nearly 250 local, national and international investors, entrepreneurs and technology transfer professionals who attended the showcase at Sandia Casino’s Golf Club event center. It’s the second such technology showcase this year by Innovate New Mexico, a new umbrella group set up to collectively coordinate technology commercialization efforts by the state’s three research universities and national laboratories.
“People are starting to see the value of working together to showcase our state assets,” said Lisa Kuuttila, the University of New Mexico’s chief economic development officer and head of the Science and Technology Corp., UNM’s tech-transfer office. “It benefits everyone.”
The event included fifteen-minute presentations by scientists and engineers with new technologies from UNM, New Mexico Tech and New Mexico State University, and from Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base. Presenters discussed a dozen different inventions, such as novel technical designs for microwave antennas to probe deeper into space, changes in lens and laser configurations for optical microscopes to view things more clearly in the nano-realm, a novel coding for secure communications, and non-invasive diagnostics for infectious disease.
Barbara Brazil, deputy secretary of the state Economic Development Department, said the showcase brings together the best and the brightest “idea-and-product creators” from the state’s labs and research universities.
“We possess a dizzying array of ideas, research, intellectual property and resources,” Brazil said. “The showcase brings attention to the tremendous potential within our ecosystem and strives to turn ideas born here into enterprise.”
Kazunori said New Mexico is smart to promote its technology collectively as a state.
“This is a great place for research and development in many fields,” he said. “That’s why we’re here. We’re looking for new business opportunities.”