NM coalitions move ahead with plans after failing to win federal grant - Albuquerque Journal

NM coalitions move ahead with plans after failing to win federal grant

Two New Mexico coalitions failed to win federal grant funding in a competitive bid for up to $200 million that would have financed projects to expand industry growth in the state’s space and creative sectors.

But both alliances are still moving forward with their work.

The Space Valley Coalition – led by Central New Mexico Community College – and Create New Mexico, led by the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, were among 60 finalists in the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. Twenty-one awardees were announced in early September, including West Virginia-based The Appalachian Climate Technology coalition which was awarded $62.8 million.

The Space Valley Coalition’s proposal focused on creating a “Space Valley Center” in Albuquerque to centralize space-related industry development, as well as new space-related workforce development programs. If they had received funding, the coalition also would have created a space-focused venture fund of up to $25 million to invest in up to 30 companies in the state over the next decade.

The Create New Mexico coalition proposal focused on workforce development in different creative technology fields – including the creation of a statewide network of training in fields such as coding and film, said Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce CIO Jessica Gentry.

The Space Valley Coalition – which includes CNM, the New Mexico Trade Alliance, NewSpace New Mexico, the New Mexico Spaceport Authority and the City of Albuquerque – is now in the process of applying for another federal grant of up to $160 million, said New Mexico Trade Alliance President Randy Trask.

Create New Mexico is looking at applying for three other federal grants – including one supporting science, technology engineering and math from the U.S. Department of Labor, Gentry said.

“When groups go after these opportunities, it’s rare to get funded the first go round,” Trask said. “But we are absolutely going to make this work for New Mexico.”

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