Innovative Economic Development Program Announced For New Mexico Communities

November 15, 2016 – Santa Fe, NM – Communities all across New Mexico now have a novel new option for accessing and leveraging new technologies as the basis for generating greater diversity and growth in their local economy, under an innovative program now being used by New Horizons Foundation to advance the economy of Lea County in the southeastern corner of New Mexico.

The New Horizons program, which is based on NHF’s Cooperative Research and Development Agreements with the U.S. Army Armament, Research, Engineering Center (ARDEC) and the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), was the centerpiece of a meeting of state government leaders and federal research officials today in the Roundhouse, New Mexico’s Capitol.

Lt. Gov. John A. Sanchez and Economic Development Department Secretary Matthew Geisel announced at the meeting that the state has issued an official Letter of Support of the New Horizons program endorsing the foundation’s initiative to make it available to other local economic development organizations around the state.  Secretary Geisel added that the NHF program is being included in the EDD’s Business Resource Center Toolkit.

A team of senior research officials from ARDEC in Rockaway, NJ made a presentation of ARDEC capabilities and services that are available for applications in New Mexico industry sectors.  ARDEC, a preeminent national and international leader in research, development, engineering and production support for defense armament systems, is one of the DoD research centers already partnering with NHF in Lea County.

New Horizons was formed and funded in 2011 by the Lea County Commission and New Mexico Junior College as a new strategic initiative to use research and technology to diversify and expand the county’s longstanding oil and gas economy.  In 2013, the NHF signed the Cooperative Research and Development Agreements with ARDEC headquartered at Rockaway, NJ and ARL based at Adelphi, MD.  These agreements give the NHF access to the research centers’ discoveries and new technologies for civilian applications in the commercial marketplace.

Two applications of ARL technologies are currently being implemented in Lea County by NHF and Pemco of New Mexico, Inc., a manufacturing business based in Hobbs.   In addition to today’s meeting with state officials in Santa Fe, NHF has also arranged for the ARDEC team to visit Lea County this week to visit the Pemco manufacturing facility in Hobbs and tour area oil and gas operations.   Meetings have also been scheduled with local business, government and education leaders to explore new opportunities for civilian applications of its available technologies.

Dale Gannaway, executive director of the NHF, said the foundation’s partnership with the EDD and the formal Letter of Support from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor “creates a new opportunity for communities all across the state to reap the economic benefits of investing in research discoveries and cutting-edge technologies that are available to us at some of our nation’s leading research labs.

“This new initiative is a game-changer for all those communities in rural areas of the state, without a nearby research institution, that have long wanted to leverage new technology for economic growth and diversification.  Now they can use our model and get in the game.”

Gannaway added, “It’s important to note that this new initiative is additive to the already well-established technology transfer operations at New Mexico’s leading research universities in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Socorro, as well as the federal research facilities at Los Alamos and Sandia.  We are all working to move New Mexico and its many communities forward in today’s technology-driven, highly competitive, knowledge-driven economy.”


Media Contacts:

New Horizons Foundation
Patrick Strickler

Economic Development Department
Benjamin Cloutier

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