Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University has been awarded $25,000 in the Lab-to-Market Inclusive Innovation Ecosystem Prize Competition, an award granted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the National Science and Technology Council.
For the L2M Competition, the SBA partnered with the National Science and Technology Council to award $330,000 in prizes to organizations, programs and ideas supporting research and development innovation ecosystems. The competition focused on underrepresented communities and pandemic responses for inclusive innovation. Out of more than 160 application submissions from across the nation, 18 awardees were selected.
“Innovation for getting good ideas to the market is often an aspect missed by those working to support entrepreneurs, so first our thanks goes to the SBA for creating the L2M award,” said NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu. “Our team at Arrowhead has accepted the challenge of finding new ways to support entrepreneurship and have worked hard with the NMSU system to provide these services through direct support. We are grateful for being selected and look forward to working with the SBA.”
Arrowhead was one of 10 awardees in the Visionary category selected based on the creativity and actionability of ideas promoting inclusivity in future research and development innovation ecosystems.
“The Lab-to-Market initiative by the Arrowhead Center will provide New Mexico businesses with valuable support and help entrepreneurs need to move their technology closer to commercialization,” said Myrriah Tomar, director of the New Mexico Economic Development Department’s Office of Science & Technology.
Arrowhead helps businesses to launch, grow and flourish through tailored services to meet clients’ needs at any development phase. Clients also have access to Arrowhead’s vast network of advisors, mentors and experts, as well as the ability to connect with investors, potential colleagues and board members, and other entrepreneurs. Arrowhead’s mission is to create economic opportunity through entrepreneurship and innovation, and is committed to serving underrepresented clients – minority, women, veteran and rural – all of whom are underserved in the research and development innovation ecosystem.
Arrowhead proposed the Innovation Ecosystem Connect (IEC) Platform as a dynamic program with a core of connecting small businesses with national labs and research institutions for growth, development, and technology transfer. Small businesses face the challenge of having limited to no access to federal entities. IEC will increase access to federal assets, small business lab engagement, and participation and engagement of underrepresented with labs and Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer opportunities.
“We look forward to working with Arrowhead on this important program,” said David Kistin, Sandia National Laboratories Technology and Economic Development manager. “This tool will serve as a valuable bridge to our economic development initiatives like the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program, the Technology Readiness Gross Receipts Initiative and the COVID-19 Technical Assistance Program, which all give New Mexico companies the ability to receive technical assistance from the labs at no cost.”
This platform will be 100 percent virtual, inviting participants to complete a profile and short video, showcasing their idea or technology and describing their business. IEC will then match businesses to a federal resource, streamlining connections. Federal labs and research institutions will also have an opportunity to showcase technologies they would like to license. IEC will begin as a pilot project working within New Mexico, and because of its potential for replicability, will eventually expand into a nationwide program helping small businesses connect to federal resources.
“We are excited to pilot the IEC platform, which we identified as a way to better connect small businesses with federal resources,” said Dana Catron, director of Strategic Operations at Arrowhead Center. “This award will be instrumental in getting this platform built and piloted, and we look forward to opportunities in the future that will allow us to expand IEC nationwide.”
Author: Stephanie Garcia – NMSU