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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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New leader and new office aim to stimulate economic development and job creation

Budding businesses in New Mexico have a new partner in their efforts to launch successful enterprises.

Andrew Neighbour, executive director of the New Mexico Technology Research Collaborative. (Courtesy Photo)

Andrew Neighbour is the first executive director of the New Mexico Technology Research Collaborative (NM-TRC), a state-funded initiative designed to move New Mexico's university and laboratory developed intellectual property into new businesses.

"He's now charged with picking up the reins and guiding the organization's statewide effort to stimulate economic development and job creation," said Garrey Carruthers, dean of the College of Business at New Mexico State University and chairman of the board of NM-TRC.

With the help of its member organizations, NM-TRC will encourage collaboration and synergy between the state's research centers with the goal of generating commercial solutions to national problems and needs.

Neighbour's first task is to develop a working strategy and business plan for this initiative and cement public and private financial support for the coming years. Through financial contributions from economic development budget appropriation and matching support from private corporations, NM-TRC will fund research and development projects designed to create commercially viable solutions to many modern day problems. The organization provides financial and strategic assistance to entrepreneurs at research institutions within the state interested in commercializing innovative technologies in these areas.

"Dr. Neighbour's strong background in the life sciences coupled with his 30 years of experience in technology transfer and new business development make him an ideal candidate for this position," said Carruthers.

Carruthers and the NM-TRC's board have overseen day-to-day business since its creation in 2005. Together, they identified a number of core research strengths in New Mexico that could yield successful new business opportunities and create local economic growth and jobs. These include optics, sensors, nanotechnology, isotopes, aerospace and homeland security.

To accomplish his goals, Neighbour opened a new full-time office at the Santa Fe Business Incubator in Santa Fe, N.M. The Santa Fe resident expects to travel throughout the state to promote collaboration among the research entities. "By supporting fledgling companies at the critical start-up phase, it is hoped that their chances of success will be significantly increased," he said.

In its latest funding cycle, NM-TRC received letters of intent to submit proposals from more than 20 research groups throughout the state. Projects selected for funding will be announced in 2007.

Neighbour was associate vice chancellor at UCLA from 2001-2005, and at Washington University in St. Louis from 1997-2001. He began his career as a research life scientist after earning his Ph.D. in medical science from the University of London. After serving as a faculty member at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, he spent 11 years at E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., in Wilmington, Del., creating new businesses, followed by six years as director and chief executive officer of START, a technology transfer consortium in the Philadelphia region.