Innovate New Mexico, the state’s network of leading technology transfer organizations, is gaining traction in its efforts to become the state’s united entrance to the innovative technologies coming from New Mexico’s research universities and national labs. On April 18, the network—STC.UNM, NMSU Arrowhead Center, New Mexico Tech, and the Sandia, Los Alamos, and Air Force Research Labs—held its third technology showcase at the Sandia Golf Club in Albuquerque.
The day’s events included welcoming remarks from Lisa Kuuttila, CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer at STC.UNM; Mary Monson, Senior Manager of Industry Partnerships at Sandia; Peter Anselmo, Executive Director of the Center for Technology Commercialization, Terry Lombard, Director of IP & Technology Transfer at the NMSU Arrowhead Center; Ross Munchhausen from the Richard P. Feynman Center for Innovation at Los Alamos; and Matt Fetrow, Tech Engagement Lead at the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).
Six researchers from UNM, NMSU, NM Tech, Sandia, and AFRL pitched their technologies (see list below) to 160 attendees comprised of national and international companies, investors, entrepreneurs, and local business and community leaders.
- Pseudomorphic Glass for Space Solar Cells, David Wilt – AFRL
- Microneedle Sensors to Monitor Health and Human Performance, Ronen Polsky, PhD – Sandia
- DNA-Based Biosensor, Steve Graves, PhD – UNM
- Method and System for Purifying Produced Water, Jianjia Yu, PhD – New Mexico Tech
- Ligand-Directed Targeting and Molecular Imaging Based on In Vivo Phage Display, Renata Pasqualini, PhD and Wadih Arap, MD, PhD – UNM
- ZIF CO2 Capture, Nasser Khazeni, PhD – NMSU
The event also featured 18 New Mexico start-up companies and organizations on display: AEGorsuch Designs, Biophagy, Inc., BioSafe Technologies, Cylenta Pharmaceuticals, Ecopesticides International, Enthentica, EquiSeq, KoolArmor, Michael Wallace & Associates, Osazda Energy, Osazda Materials, PanMuse, LLC, VisionQuest Biomedical, Zeall, Zocere, Inc., New Mexico Start-Up Factory, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), and Northern New Mexico College.
Presenters and exhibitors had ample networking sessions to talk with company technology scouts for possible business opportunities. Meetings were also scheduled and held between companies and start-ups and technology inventors.
The lunch time session, moderated by Lisa Kuuttila, featured a panel of New Mexico start-up CEOs who discussed their experiences growing their companies in New Mexico. Participants were Brian Barnes, Project Manager of Resilient Solutions 21, Mark Fidel, Co-Founder and Head of Corporate Development for RiskSense, David Joseph, Co-Founder and CEO of Avisa Pharma, and Carlos Murguia, CEO of KoolArmor. Ms. Kuuttila noted that New Mexico is ranked 18th in the U.S. for its innovation assets and 1st in R&D per capita. The speakers cited several advantages to entrepreneurs who start companies in New Mexico: access to a tremendous amount of IP in an R&D-rich environment, support from science, technology, and business communities, state government incentives such as job training and tax credits, and low cost-of-living. Disadvantages included a lack of large institutional investors, not enough private sector development (need bigger companies here), and not enough senior management talent to run new companies.
The showcase ended with closing remarks from Jennifer Sinsabaugh, Center Director of MEP, and Julia Wise, Manager of the Office of Science and Technology for the New Mexico Economic Development Department.
Innovate New Mexico would like to thank the presenters, exhibitors, and lunch panelists. A special thanks goes to our shark panelists: Nyika Allen, President & CEO of the New Mexico Technology Council, Kathleen Gardenswartz, Co-Founder of Surefi, Kyle Gui, Founder of Pencil-In, Robert Nath, Member of the STC Board of Directors, Dorian Rader, Vice President of the New Mexico Angels, and Mathis Shinnick, CEO of OptiPulse, Inc. Last but not least, Innovate New Mexico is deeply grateful to the following event sponsors: Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), AFRL, Sandia National Laboratories, MEP, and New Mexico Tech.
To read more about the technology showcase, see Kevin Robinson-Avila’s April 18, 2017 article, “Innovation event displays technology from around NM,” from the Albuquerque Journal, reprinted below.
Innovation event displays technology from around NM
By Kevin Robinson-Avila / Journal Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 at 2:20pm
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — From biosensors to cancer-targeting technology, a broad range of innovation was on display Tuesday at the Innovate New Mexico technology showcase at the Sandia Golf Club in Albuquerque.
The twice-per-year event, which first launched in spring 2016, unites innovators and technology transfer professionals from the state’s research universities and national laboratories in a joint effort to attract investor interest in new, cutting-edge innovation.
Nearly 160 people participated on Tuesday, including more than 100 businesspeople, investors and corporate technology scouts. About 30 of them came from other states and countries, including China, India and Japan, 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’s an opportunity for all the state’s research universities and national labs to showcase their technologies together,” Kuuttila said. “It’s enabling us to get national and international attention for our science and technology assets.”
Innovators discussed six different technologies from UNM, New Mexico Tech, New Mexico State University, Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Air Force Research Laboratory.
The Air Force lab showed a new glass covering for solar panels on satellites to better protect them in space. The lab wants to license that for commercial applications, such as shielding solar cells on unmanned aerial vehicles.
Sandia discussed microneedle sensors about the width of three human hairs that can be used in wearable devices to continuously monitor for health and human performance.
UNM showed a new DNA-based biosensor for rapid detection of specific diseases, such as dengue. It also discussed a novel cancer-targeting technology to diagnose and treat tumors, which it developed in collaboration with LANL.
New Mexico Tech had a mobile water-purifying system for use on-site at oil and gas wells to reduce costs for treating and disposing of produced water. And NMSU showed a new carbon-capture technology that can absorb a lot more carbon than other materials in use today.
About 15 startup companies from around the state also pitched their products and services at the event.
Two Dow Chemical technology scouts from India and the western U.S. said they were attracted by the unique materials-related technologies emerging in New Mexico and the novel approach of showing it through a collaborative, statewide initiative.
“Where we come from, it’s rare to find events with such a high concentration of materials research and development that’s of interest to us,” said Leigh Thompson, a Dow scout in California.
Her colleague, Chedarampet Karthikeyan of India, said the participation of three national labs is a big selling point.
“You don’t see that in many places,” Karthikeyan said.
Also see the Living Cities video on the Innovate New Mexico event: