A unique program that would enable New Mexico communities to access technologies at America’s federal research labs for building their local economies will be discussed at briefings that New Horizons Foundation has organized for state government leaders and federal research officials next month in Santa Fe and Lea County.
The Santa Fe briefing will include the office of Lt. Gov. John A. Sanchez as well as the New Mexico Economic Development Department. Also taking part in the briefings will be a team of top ranking officials from the U.S. Army, Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), which is one of the federal labs already working with NHF to move the lab’s new technologies into the civilian marketplace.
The new program that will be discussed in the briefings is based on the operating model that NHF is already using successfully in Lea County to further diversify and strengthen its local economy. The NHF model is unique because it pulls already funded, tested and patented technologies out of a federal research lab for local private sector investment and further implementation in commercial markets, and also because it does not require that a community have a nearby research institution that typically is a major contributor to the community’s economy.
In announcing details of the Nov. 15-17 meetings, Dale Gannaway, NHF’s executive director, said, “The briefing sessions for our state and federal colleagues will highlight the progress we’re making with the unique operating model we’ve put in place at NHF here in Lea County. New Horizons is breaking new ground in the way a small, mainly rural community can tap into today’s technology-driven knowledge economy, without the benefit of a research institution in its backyard.
“We will also be discussing a new initiative by the State of New Mexico and New Horizons to invite small communities all across the state to use our operating model to access cutting edge technologies at our nation’s federal research labs to further diversify and strengthen their local economies,” Gannaway added.
In July, 2013, the NHF signed the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Department of Defense, giving the foundation exclusive access to cutting-edge technologies at DoD research labs. The NHF executive staff has been working closely with a Hobbs manufacturer to implement two technologies from the DoD’s Army Research Lab for commercial applications in the civilian marketplace.
The state and federal officials briefing in Santa Fe is scheduled for Nov. 15, followed by a trip to Hobbs and the Lea County area on Nov. 16-17 to visit the manufacturing plant where two technologies from the DoD’s Army Research Lab are being developed, and also meet with local government, business and education officials.