Governor announces $300,000 to boost high-tech startups

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Sanjay Krishna, director of the University of New Mexico Center for High Technology Materials, shows off a piece of equipment on Monday. The center provides assistance and resources to help startups develop cutting edge innovation. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Six companies developing new technologies in partnership with New Mexico’s research universities and national laboratories will benefit from $300,000 in funding to help move new products to market.

Gov. Susana Martinez announced the funding Monday at the University of New Mexico’s Center for High Technology Materials, which is providing technical assistance, critical infrastructure and resources to help startups develop cutting-edge innovation.

The funding, which ranges from $38,000 to $62,000 for six projects, comes from the Technology Research Collaborative, a state-backed organization that unites New Mexico’s research institutions in a joint effort to accelerate the commercialization of new, homegrown technologies.

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“The technology we develop and create in our labs and universities is truly incredible, and we need to take full advantage of these opportunities by bringing them to the private sector,” Martinez said. “I am confident that with this funding, we can continue to invest in New Mexico’s bright technological future. And by doing so, we will create jobs, strengthen our institutions and diversify our economy.”

UNM, the Airforce Research Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories will jointly assist four startups with $212,000:

— $62,000 to Skinfrared Inc., which is developing advanced infrared detectors for imaging in military and commercial applications.

— $60,000 for Dynamic Photonics, which is marketing a new circuitry process for fiber optics that allows receivers to transmit signals at speeds four to five times faster than standard transceivers.

— $40,000 to help OptiPulse Inc. build new wireless optical communications technology to upgrade 4G networks to 5G at much lower cost than today’s fiber-optic systems.

— $50,000 to speed Pressure Analysis Corp.’s creation of “Smack-CAP” skullcaps, which protect athletes from head injuries through real-time monitoring of blows to the head during games.

Another $50,000 will finance New Mexico State University assistance for NMX Organic Pesticides, which is developing all-natural pesticides and fertilizers for organic farmers. And finally, $38,000 will go to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and Los Alamos National Laboratory to help a startup broaden its current water filtration technology to include arsenic removal.

The grant funding comes from $400,000 the state Legislature approved last year for the Technology Research Collaborative, $300,000 of which was earmarked for targeted commercialization projects, said Patricia Knighten, director for the Economic Development Department’s Office of Science and Technology.

Financial constraints this year, however, prevented the Legislature from approving any new money for the Research Collaborative for fiscal year 2017, which begins in July.

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