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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU recognized for helping small businesses

New Mexico State University has received a national award for providing a variety of assistance to small businesses.

rd was given by the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program (SATOP), a program sponsored by NASA that encourages its contractors to make their research expertise, facilities and other resources available to small businesses in need of technical assistance. NMSU is considered a NASA contractor because it receives more than $32 million a year in research funding from the agency.

NMSU received SATOP's award for the Best Performing Platinum Alliance Partner in 2004-05. Platinum Alliance Partners are those who contribute the most hours to the SATOP program - more than 1,000 hours a year. Only five program participants have reached this level, and NMSU is the only university to do so.

In the past two years, NMSU has completed nearly 120 requests for technical assistance from small businesses. Faculty members from its College of Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of Agriculture and Home Economics have participated in the program. In addition, the Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Center (M-TEC) at NMSU has assisted some of these clients with prototyping work, and the Arrowhead Center at NMSU has offered help with business plans and marketing.

"NMSU has proven to be an excellent partner for the SATOP program," said DeAnza Valencia, New Mexico SATOP director.

Rep. Tom Udall (D-NM), who serves on the House Small Business Committee, presented NMSU with its award at an event in Washington, D.C., June 14.

"Part of our mission as a land-grant university is to be an economic engine for the state," said Maureen Camunez, director of intellectual property and technology transfer and NMSU SATOP coordinator. "This program also gives our students and faculty members an opportunity to work with small businesses in solving their product development problems."

The SATOP program was started in 2001 to help create a return on the investment that has been made in the U.S. space program. The program currently operates in four states: New Mexico, New York, Florida and Texas.

This is the second year in a row that NMSU has been named a "Best Performing" SATOP Partner. Last year it was named the Best Performing Silver Alliance Partner.