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Seventh Innovate New Mexico® Technology Showcase a Success

This year’s Innovate New Mexico Technology Showcase was a big success with the highest turnout rate to date. The event took place on March 3rd at the Event Center at Sandia Golf Club and there were over 150 attendees comprised of local and national companies, investors, entrepreneurs, and local business and community leaders.

This year’s Innovate New Mexico Technology Showcase was a big success with the highest turnout rate to date. The event took place on March 3rd at the Event Center at Sandia Golf Club and there were over 150 attendees comprised of local and national companies, investors, entrepreneurs, and local business and community leaders.

The event started off with welcoming remarks from Jon Clark, Deputy Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Economic Development Department and keynote remarks from Dr. Omar Hatamleh, Executive Director of the Space Studies Program at NASA International Space University and Chief Innovation Officer of Engineering at NASA Johnson Space Center.

Lunchtime Panel

During lunch there was a panel discussion with four leaders and CEOs of New Mexico start-up companies. The panel discussed some of the challenges and benefits they have faced while growing start-ups in New Mexico.

The discussion was moderated by Carlos Romero, Associate VP for Research at New Mexico Tech and panel participants included Brian Henderson, CEO of Next State Systems, LLC, Victor Hughes, Founder of Roar Echo, LLC, Mark Johnson, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder of Descartes Labs, and Erik Strobert, CEO of Perspective Components, Inc.

Some challenges for local start-ups continue to be available seed-stage funding and a trained, technical work force. However, in comparison to much bigger metropolitan areas, there is also much less competition.

Mark Johnson, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder of Descartes Labs commented, “We realized at some point our advantages – although people in the bay area are fishing in a very deep pond, there are a million fishing poles in that pond. Here we are looking at a much shallower pond, but we can get the best out of that.”

Panelists also praised the support of the local community and the state’s efforts to nurture the start-up ecosystem. Other advantages to businesses include NMSBA, grants provided by the state, tax credits and support from the technology-transfer programs at the state’s research institutions

Technology Pitches

Twelve researchers and inventors from the University of New Mexico, the Air Force Research Lab, Los Alamos National Lab, Sandia National Labs, NASA-White Sands Test Facility and Johnson Space Center, and New Mexico State University pitched their technologies to industry representatives and investors.

Below is a summary of the technologies.

1. Nasa White Sands Missile Range – Joe Bullington, Jacobs Technology, Inc.

The White Sands Test Facility has been a center of technical excellence in the fields of high-pressure oxygen systems and materials and rocket propellant safety. Their core capabilities include testing and analysis of oxygen systems, hypervelocity impact, composite pressure systems, propellants and aerospace fluids, along with flight acceptance standard testing and spaceflight component services.

2. Argos-Artificial Gravity Offload System 7 Infrared Flash Thermography for Nondestructive Evaluation and Full-Size Reduced Gravity Simulator for Humans, Robots, and Test Objects – Steven González, NASA Johnson Space Center

This innovation in the techniques used for post-processing flash IR thermography data provides both efficient and cost-effective enhancements to Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) of structures. Compatible with commercial IR thermography products, this suite of tools provides both quantitative and qualitative data analysis capabilities and reliable detection and characterization of anomalies in composite structures.

The simulator technology, first developed to train astronauts to live and work in a weightless environment, provides a simulated reduced gravity environment that responds to human-imparted forces. This system attaches to a human subject in a gimbal and/or harness through a cable and then maintains a constant offload of a portion of the subject’s weight through the cable to simulate reduced gravity.

3. Non-Opioid Solution to the Opiod Crisis: scFv Immunotherapeutics for Pain Management- Karin Westlund High, Ph.D., UNM

When opioids are used as therapeutic agents, they are significantly limited in providing pain management due to their detrimental side effects and addictive qualities. An alternative has been engineered in the form of an endogenous peptide fragment (scFc). The antibodies, generated using a cell-free ribosome display, offers inexpensive and rapid scFv antibody synthesis. Data indicates that a single dose of P2X4 scFv effectively returns the mechanical threshold pain measure to naïve baseline for many weeks in a nerve injury chronic pain animal model.

4. Cloud Hypervisor-forensics and incident response platforms (CHIRP) – Vince Urias, Sandia

This platform, ideal for cyber defense and security requirements and applications, introduces a novel Virtual Machine Introspection (VMI) based approach to enable analysts and defenders to collect evidence and incident response materials in real time, without disturbing the user environment or alerting an intruder. Using CHIRP, analysts can pinpoint suspicious activities, track and record attacker actions for forensic analysis and retrieve materials transparently from the targeted machines automatically and on demand.

5. Thermal/Fluid Inventions for Space and Terrestrial Applications – Jonathan Allison, AFRL

These thermal control systems (TSC) technologies include a fusible metal thermal hinge, frangible heat pipe, and microgravity sediment trap. In satellites and spacecraft design, these technologies work to maintain optimal temperature range for all components of a spacecraft during mission phases. This is essential for spacecrafts so that they can cope with the extreme thermal environments of space as well as heat generated within a spacecraft.

6. Microsystem-Based Aerosol Generator – Nathan Jackson, Ph.D., UNM

Electronic cigarettes and medicinal inhaled drug delivery systems have been produced to help combat the negative side effects associated with smoking traditional cigarettes. However, current technologies regarding vaporization methods can still have some potential health complications. This technology is designed as an alternative method of manufacturing a monolithic microfabricated vibrating mesh atomizer which could control droplet size and eliminate ultrafine particle formation.

7. Nanoscale-Enabled Microinductors – Eric Langlois, Sandia

Scaling of magnetic passive components such as inductors and transformers have not kept pace with advances in high power semiconductor devices employing wide/ultra-wide band gap SiC, GaN, and AlN in terms of size or performance. This novel inductor has significantly lower losses by using a nano-scale enabled magnetic material that is nonconducting, non-hysteretic, and has a high saturation magnetization.

8. Method and Apparatus for Killing Plants with Electric Current – Paul Neher, NMSU

This technology is an environmentally friendly method of killing plants by using an electric charge. This method is highly selective with no potential for any collateral damage to adjoining plants and can permanently kill plants through the root without the use of herbicides.

9. Hertz Bio: Drug Discovery and Toxicology – Kent Coombs, UC-LANL Postdoc Entrepreneur

Safety and efficacy are the most common points of failure regarding the ways in which novel drugs are assessed, mainly because animals are not good predictors of human biology. This technology, called Hertz Bio, is a benchtop miniature beating heart that can be used to predict the effects of drugs on the human heart and gives relevant human data without the need of clinical trial. This system offers a more humane application than animal testing and has the potential to revolutionize the drug development world.

10. Medical Audio Alarm Distributed Detection and Alert Systems – 1st Lt. Michael Albert, USAF

In medical environments, a variety of equipment is used to monitor medical functions. Each piece is able to produce several alarms, but it can be extremely inconvenient to locate, determine priority, and respond to any given alarm. This new innovation provides medical care facilities with an easy to install, customizable system that detects, triages and communicates alarms to a centralized location.

11. Threshold-Based Min-Sum Algorithm to Lower the Error Floors of Quantized Low-Density Parity-Check Decoders – David Mitchell, Ph.D., New Mexico State University

This method and apparatus can selectively attenuate or offset the messages in a Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) decoder based on a simple threshold comparison. This can outperform the original algorithm and its variants across all signal-to-noise ratios. LDPC codes are industry standards in satellite communication (broadcasting, interactive services, telephony), ethernet, wireless broadband (wifi, personal area networks, digital television, high-bandwidth data transport, and deep space communication.

12. Green Factor, Niju Narayanan, Los Alamos Pordoc Entrepreneur Fellow

Cell-free systems have emerged as the viable method to produce bio-based products for a sustainable future. This screening platform coupled with a biosensor can customize production processes in cell-free environments which can offer biomanufacturers higher titers and yields, better resource utilization and cost-effective bioprocess. This technology aims at better utilizing inexpensive cofactor analogues by enabling enzyme modifications to ensure that the bioprocesses are cost effective and economically viable.

More information on each of the technologies is available at: http://www.innovatenewmexico.com/technologies/.

The seventh Innovate New Mexico Technology Showcase will take place at the Event Center at Sandia Golf Club on March 3, 2020.

Innovate New Mexico is an annual event featuring the latest developments in research and technology from seven research institutions in the state of New Mexico. Researchers and inventors from the University of New Mexico, the Air Force Research Lab, Los Alamos National Lab, Sandia National Labs, NASA-White Sands Test Facility and Johnson Space Center, New Mexico Tech, and New Mexico State University will pitch their technologies to industry representatives and investors. Startup companies will also have a chance to showcase their company products and latest activities.

The event will include twelve technology presentations, a lunchtime panel featuring local entrepreneurs and their startups, and breaks throughout for networking with inventors, entrepreneurs, investors, industry representatives, and startups.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Omar Hatamleh, Executive Director of the Space Studies Program at NASA International Space University and Chief Innovation Officer of Engineering at NASA Johnson Space Center. With over twenty years of aerospace industry experience, Dr. Hatamleh will share his unique perspective on innovation and experience in this area. His presentation will focus on the exponential increase of technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its social and economic impacts on people, organizations and jobs. He will share his insights on the following questions: 1) How can you both align yourself with this change, and distinguish yourself to remain relevant, and to lead with confidence? 2) What innovations and ecosystems do you need to have a perspective on? 3) How can you improve efficiency and adapt to improve economically? 4) What are the impacts of AI on organizations, society and people? He has also published over 33 international journal articles and has received six awards from NASA for his achievements.

Dr. Hatamleh holds four degrees in engineering, including a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Jordan, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, Sacramento and a Master of Engineering in Materials Engineering from North Carolina State University. He also holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina.

The showcase will begin with registration and networking, followed by opening remarks given by Jon Clark, Deputy Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Economic Development Department and then keynote speaker Dr. Omar Hatamleh. Technology presentations will commence throughout the morning and afternoon with feedback from shark panels. The lunchtime panel will include Brian Henderson, CEO of Next State Systems, LLC, Victor Hughes, Founder of Roar Echo, LLC, Mark Johnson, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder of Descartes Labs, Charles Mendez, Jr., CEO of Enthentica, Inc., and Erik Strobert, CEO of Perspective Components, Inc. The event will wrap up with closing remarks from Tim Nitti, President & CEO of New Mexico Partnership and a drink reception.

To register, go to https://innovate-new-mexico.eventbrite.com.

Spring Statewide Technology Showcase Draws Investors and Industry Reps to New Mexico

Innovate New Mexico, a network of the state’s six leading technology-transfer organizations, held its fifth event showcasing innovative technologies from the state’s research universities and national labs.

The May 1, 2018 gathering at the Sandia Golf Club in Albuquerque featured 10 technology pitches by inventors from the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University,  Sandia National Labs, Los Alamos National Lab, and the Air Force Research Labs to a crowd of approximately 150 investors, entrepreneurs, industry reps, , and local business members.

The day’s events included welcoming remarks from Matthew Geisel, cabinet secretary of the NM Economic Development Department and keynote remarks from Dr. Robert Peterkin, Director of the Albuquerque Operations for General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS).

Dr. Peterkin has pioneered the use of high performance computing for directed energy applications.  Prior to joining General Atomics, he was chief scientist for directed energy at the Air Force Research Laboratory in New Mexico and chief scientist for the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program.  Dr. Peterkin received his Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  GM-EMS is a global leader in the research, design, and manufacture of first-of-a-kind electromagnetic and electric power generation systems.  The Albuquerque office is located at the Lobo Rainforest Building.

Dr. Peterkin’s presentation, “A Brief History of Innovation,” was an exploration of innovators through the ages, what motivates innovation, and what the future holds for the next disruptive innovation area:  artificial intelligence.  Taking his inspiration from Peter Drucker’s book, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, he stated that innovation is not just a buzzword but is a purposeful and systematic discipline, capable of being learned and practiced.  Entrepreneurs use innovation as a tool to create business opportunities for something new.  Ingredients for real innovation are the three “D”s:  dissatisfaction with the status quo; diversity of thought, experience, and knowledge; and determination to create a new, better way of doing something old.  He ended his presentation by say that the Lobo Rainforest at Innovate ABQ is an ecosystem that fosters the three “D”s.

The showcase also included exhibit space for 14 New Mexico startup companies and business organizations.

Presenters and exhibitors had ample networking sessions to talk with company technology scouts for possible business opportunities.

University and lab inventors pitched the following technologies to the crowd and panel of local sharks who asked market and commercialization questions and offered feedback:

  1. Dif-Fix: Get Your Gut Back, /Anand Kumar, PhD (Los Alamos)
  2. bioZera – 3D Bio-Printing, Christina Salas, PhD (UNM)
  3. Digitally Unclonable Function (DUF), Peter Choi, PhD (Sandia)
  4. Optically Levitated Nanoparticle Accelerometer, Maxwell Gregoire, PhD (AFRL)
  5. Ultrafast X-Ray Imager (UXI), Marcos Sanchez (Sandia)
  6. Assessing the Condition of Railroad Bridges Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Fernando Moreu, PhD, PE (UNM)
  7. Ultra-High Vacuum System Assembly Tool, Oscar Martinez, PhD (AFRL)
  8. Rapid Sepsis Sensor, Jessica Kubicek-Sutherland, PhD (Los Alamos)
  9. Alert Cardio: Low Power Integrated System for Real-Time Arrhythmia Detection, Wei Tang, PhD (NMSU)
  10. Prosthetic Sleeve Liner, Neda Sanatkaran, PhD (NMSU)

 

To read the technology summaries go to the Innovate New Mexico website at http://www.innovatenewmexico.com/.

 

The lunch time session, moderated by Carlos Romero, Associate Vice President of Research & Economic Development at New Mexico Tech, featured a panel of New Mexico startup CEOs who discussed their experiences growing their companies in New Mexico. Panel speakers were Mark Fidel, co-founder and head of corporate development at RiskSense, Inc.; Alex Gorsuch, research & development director of MagPi Innovations; Alex Koglin, founder and CTO of NTxBIO; Mathis Shinnick, CEO of OptiPulse, Inc.; and David Wilt, chief strategist of Osazda Energy, LLC.

The showcase ended with closing remarks from Jennifer Sinsabaugh, CEO of the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and a reception for the attendees.

Innovate New Mexico would like to thank event sponsors:  Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), platinum level; Air Force Research Lab, Richard P. Feynman Center for Innovation at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and MEP, gold level; Sandia National Laboratories, silver level; and New Mexico Economic Development Department, bronze level.

Special thanks goes to the lunch panel of startup executives mentioned above and the following shark panelists:  John Bessone, director, Affinity Ventures; Mark Chavez, CEO, MyLens, Inc.; Donald Kirby, managing partner, Aspen Vista Capital; Tom Nickoloff, managing principal, Camino Real Capital Partners; Lexi Palmer, marketing manager, Meltdown Studio; and McLain Southworth, venture partner, Crosslink Capital.