SSTI Digest

Geography: New Mexico


Art Garcia has resigned as director of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund to accept a job with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in his home state of New Mexico.

New Mexico Governor Proposes Education, Research and Energy Initiatives for 2007

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson recently announced a series of budget requests for the 2007 legislature intended to increase access to public universities and to support research and investment in emerging technologies. Together, the requests call for more than $120 million in state investment in higher education quality and affordability, supercomputing and stem cell research, and new energy initiatives.

Higher Education

Much of this funding would provide scholarships for students through the state's College Affordability Fund. The fund was created last year to support traditional and nontraditional college students, with up to $1,000 per semester in need-based funding. Gov. Richardson recommends the state invest $50 million, on top of the initial $49 million invested last year, to expand the program. The governor also is proposing a state tax credit equal to 25 percent of the federal Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits to assist with tuition and fees.

Earlier this year, New Mexico received an 'F' in college affordability and a 'D' in student completion from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. Gov. Richardson stated in a press release that New Mexico universities have fallen short in ensuring that minority and low-income students move successfully between their first and second years of college. The governor proposes to address this problem by linking state university funding to the rate of successful promotion for these students.

The budget requests also include $10 million in endowments for professorships at the state's two- and four-year institutions. Recipient institutions would be required to provide one-to-one matching for state funds. The investments would target college and university departments that foster growth in priority fields, including film, aerospace, education and energy.


Gov. Richardson hopes to support two other fields, stem cell research and supercomputing, through state investment in new research facilities. His plan dedicates $10 million to stem cell research at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences center, including:


Thomas Bowles was named science advisor to New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, succeeding a number of fellow Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists serving the governor.

New Mexico Gov. Wants $100M for Private Spaceport

Nearly 40,000 people in 120 countries have placed deposits with the British commercial space company for the opportunity to become tourists in space, according to Virgin Galactic. Last Tuesday, New Mexico's governor said he wants the state to spend $100 million over the next three years to help get them there.


Eric Griego was appointed assistant secretary of economic development for the New Mexico Economic Development Department.


Gov. Bill Richardson appointed William Enloe, CEO of Los Alamos National Bank, to serve as chairman of the New Mexico Economic Development Partnership.

New Mexico Adds Tax Credit, Loan Program to TBED Portfolio

Tech firms in New Mexico received happy tax news on April 4 as Gov. BIll Richardson signed several bills to encourage economic growth across New Mexico. House Bill 410 authorizes the Small Business Technology Tax Credit, created to attract R&D investment into the state by providing small companies with a three-year “tax holiday.” The tax credit is available to businesses with total revenue of $5 million or less, no more than 25 employees, and qualified research expenditures of at least 20 percent.


Former New Mexico Gov. Garrey Carruthers (1987-1990) has been named vice provost for economic development at New Mexico State University.

VC News

New Mexico Firms Would Receive $30M in Venture Funding

New Mexico might be close to closing on two venture deals worth a combined $30 million, the Albuquerque Journal recently reported. The New Mexico State Investment Council (SIC) gave preliminary approval of the $30 million to two Santa Fe-based firms early last month. Flywheel Ventures, one of the two companies in consideration for the money, was said to be raising its own $30 million for investment in seed and early-stage technology companies. Rio Grande Venture Partners, the other beneficiary, would indirectly contribute to tech firms through a $100 million fund it hopes to close this spring. The New Mexico investment program requires that both companies provide match funding and do business in the state, either whole or in part.


Deborah Fleischaker has been appointed deputy secretary for the New Mexico Department of Economic Development.

TBED People & Organizational Announcements

The Association of University Research Parks has recognized Sandia National Laboratories for the 2003 Excellence in Technology Transfer Award. Over the past five years, Sandia has participated in 183 new cooperative research and development agreements with industry partners to jointly develop technology that is incorporated into commercial products. In addition, Sandia has had 1,472 technical advance disclosures, 639 new non-federal entity agreements to assist partners in addressing specific technical challenges, and 415 commercial licenses that have transferred technologies developed at Sandia to the private sector.


Randy Burge has announced his resignation as director of the New Mexico Department of Economic Development's Office of Science and Technology. Mike Orshan will serve as acting director beginning Sept. 29.