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NMSU-based NM FAST program makes strides to improve small business participation in technology

Representatives from Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University addressed New Mexico-based business concerns at a conference in Austin, Texas, earlier this month as part of a partnership program to help improve small business participation in research and technology.


 Photo of two men standing in front of a computer display.
Greg Scantlen, right, owner of Albuquerque-based CreativeC, poses with his son at the Defense Energy Innovation Summit and Showcase in Austin, Texas, Dec. 1-3. Scantlen received support from NM FAST to attend the summit. (Courtesy photo)

Members of Arrowhead?s New Mexico Federal and State Technology Partnership Program, or NM FAST, team - Zetdi Sloan, Dana Catron and Todd Bisio - attended the Defense Energy Innovation Summit & Showcase, which was co-located with the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Innovation Summit in Austin.

Arrowhead?s NM FAST team also met with service and agency representatives and discussed their interest in supporting New Mexico SBIR/STTR workshops. Team members said most were ?receptive and provided contacts for future use.?

NM FAST, with support from the New Mexico Economic Development Department, sponsored three people from New Mexico-based companies to attend the Austin conference: Greg Scantlen of CreativeC, and Todd Peterson and Kenny Blemel of Management Sciences, Inc.

?The SBIR/STTR Summit in Austin provided a wonderful opportunity to network with other small business entities, government representatives and major prime contractors,? Peterson said. ?Workshops provided valuable insights into the SBIR/STTR programs, and the one-on-one sessions with Department of Defense representatives and prime contractors were also valuable. I made many excellent contacts during the summit.?

Scantlen said his company?s participation in the summit gave them an opportunity to meet face-to-face with representatives from the Office of Naval Research.

?Within minutes the Navy PMP (permanent military professor) identified a soon-to-be-released SBIR topic for which my company had deep specialized experience,? Scantlen said. ?We got early access to the SBIR technical point of contact, and the Navy PMP hand-delivered our company information to the technical point of contact. We will submit a Phase I application for the call in about two months.?

In June, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez announced that NMSU was selected to receive a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Assistance Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program. The grant, supported by the Martinez administration, will help Arrowhead Center build greater participation between researchers and small companies working to take new technologies to market. Arrowhead Center was one of 20 universities and organizations nationwide to receive the grant this year.

NM FAST offers eligible small businesses assistance with funding efforts through SBIR and STTR programs, which offer more than $2.5 billion annually to support the development of technology by small businesses.

The NM FAST program is hosting several workshops across the state, including Las Cruces in the spring. Additional workshops may be scheduled in Alamogordo, Silver City, Socorro and the Air Force Research Lab in Albuquerque.

For more information on the workshops, visit http://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/nmfast/