Gov. proposes funding for NMT technology projects

........................................................................................................................................................................................

On Thursday, Dec. 18, Governor Susana Martinez chose the engineering design lab at New Mexico Tech as her venue for announcing a $2 million grant initiative to fund technology commercialization in New Mexico.

Robyn Harrison/For El Defensor Chieftain: Gov. Susana Martinez confers with New Mexico Tech Physics professor Richard Sonnenfeld during her visit Thursday.

On Thursday, Dec. 18, Governor Susana Martinez chose the engineering design lab at New Mexico Tech as her venue for announcing a $2 million grant initiative to fund technology commercialization in New Mexico.

“The funds will help mature technology to the point it can go from concept to fulfilled business and get it to the marketplace,” she said.

The initiative, to be sponsored by local State Representative Don Tripp, will fund grants to be awarded by the Technology Research Collaborative. This 11-member board was created by HB562 during the 2013 legislative session with the purpose, in part, to “commercialize the intellectual property” created by research institutions throughout the state.

The collaborative will fund grant proposals from state institutions that seek to bring product designs to the marketplace, she said, thus creating jobs and advancing economic development in New Mexico. Members of the Collaborative include designees from the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, NMT, Sandia and Los Alamos National labs, and others from various research facilities in the state. New Mexico Tech is the designated fiscal agent.

A second initiative announced earlier in the day at UNM would appropriate $7.5 million to reform the Higher Education Endowment Fund to allow New Mexico’s colleges and universities to compete for endowed chairs. The purpose is to attract top professors, scientists and researchers to state schools.