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NMSU Arrowhead Center Receives Grant to Help New Mexico Small Businesses

The New Mexico Federal and State Technology Partnership Program at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center has been awarded a $125,000 grant from the Small Business Administration to continue programming that offers Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer proposal development assistance to New Mexico small businesses through workshops, mentoring, and micro-grant awards.

NM FAST was among 21 grant recipients nationwide to receive funding for programming that supports innovative, technology-driven businesses.

“We are very pleased that we will be entering a second year focused on achieving higher impact goals. I believe that the NMSU Arrowhead Center, being an extension of the state’s land-grant institution, is the perfect organization to run this program to best benefit and impact New Mexico,” said Todd Bisio, NM FAST entrepreneurial advisor. “Working on the NM FAST team satisfies a personal passion that I have, which is to help entrepreneurs throughout New Mexico to grow sustainable jobs and ultimately work on commercializing products that enhance our global position in the world.”

Each state submitted one FAST proposal through their state and territorial governors. The proposals were evaluated by SBIR program managers, the SBA, the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation. The FAST award project and budget periods are for 12 months, beginning Sept. 30.

The SBIR/STTR programs are administered by the SBA in collaboration with 11 federal agencies, which collectively supported more than $2.5 billion in federal research and development funding in fiscal year 2015. Supporting New Mexico businesses as they pursue SBIR/STTR grants is a critical element in building the state’s economy and innovative ecosystem.

NM FAST, which launched in October 2015, has seen tremendous success since its inception. The program has facilitated twelve workshops throughout the state, with more planned for late summer and early fall. In an effort to reach the rural corners of New Mexico, the program began streaming workshops via webinar with much success.

Doug Adkins of Defiant Technologies is an NM FAST client who came to the program after seeing the NSF announcement in FAST’s monthly newsletter. He was able to select an NSF sub-topic, craft an executive summary and receive feedback from a NSF program manager.

His proposal, “A Micro-Thermionic Ionization Source for Chemical Detection,” was successfully submitted in December. The NSF recommended it for award pending a cooperative research and development agreement with Sandia National Laboratory, and he was successfully awarded the grant in July.

“We want to make sure that every company in New Mexico that is interested is able to compete for the more than $2.5 billion in federal funding available every year. NM FAST provides for greater inclusion, equipping small firms with the necessary resources to submit a competitive proposal,” said Zetdi Sloan, director of Arrowhead Technology Incubator.

Moving forward, NM FAST intends to expand their capacity to provide technical and business assistance to small businesses in New Mexico, placing an emphasis on outreach to businesses located in rural parts of the state. The program will tap into the wealth of non-traditional technologies, such as art therapy and learning games, emerging from research at universities and community colleges throughout the state.

“We find that each city we go to has different resources, industry make-up, culture, and sets of challenges,” said Paul Furth, NM FAST technical advisor. “Thus, we have sought to tailor our workshops to each location that we visit. For some of the cities that we visited, chiefly those outside of the Rio Grande corridor, there was little prior exposure to the SBIR/STTR programs. I’m delighted that we’ll be able to return next year to provide follow-on programs for entrepreneurial teams.”

For more information, please visit: http://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/nmfast/

Author:  Lauren Goldstein – NMSU

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