HOBBS, NM, May 11, 2016 — New Horizons Foundation, based in the southeast corner of New Mexico atop the oil-rich Permian Basin, has released a report that highlights its innovative strategy for accessing new technologies developed at federal research labs and bringing them to New Mexico as a way to stimulate private sector investment and diversify the region’s longstanding oil industry-based economy.
The foundation has signed Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) with the Department of Defense, giving it access to any Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine research labs, including their people, resources and capabilities. The agreements between the DoD and NHF allow any company that wishes to work with NHF the power to access the labs through the NHF/DoD agreement.
As one example of how the strategy is working, the foundation reports how the Army Research Lab’s technology for sound-suppression on sniper rifles is being developed by a local oilfield manufacturing and repair firm for possible use in reducing sound levels on oil rigs and in a broad range of consumer power tools, such as lawn mowers, chain saws and weed-eaters.
Speaking at the foundation’s recent “Innovate Lea County” conference at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, David Schmidly, former president of the University of New Mexico and now a foundation board member, said, “What’s happening here is the best example of how to move entrepreneurship into a rural area that I’ve ever seen, in my entire experience.”
The mission of New Horizons Foundation is to “promote, develop, and administer technological innovations for applied scientific, educational, and economic wealth creation for public benefit and economic growth.” It is a not-for-profit organization that was formed in 2011 via a partnership between the Lea County Commission and New Mexico Junior College, with the primary goal of further strengthening and diversifying the economy of Lea County, and also to foster investment and drive innovation in Lea County and the surrounding Permian Basin.