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Lasers and AI: ‘Innovative’ New Mexico firms receive tiny taxpayer-funded grants

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(The Center Square) – The New Mexico Economic Development Department recently awarded matching grants to seven companies in hopes of supporting innovation development and jumpstart commercialization.

The companies that got FY2024 grants were chosen by the Office of Strategy, Science and Technology. The Office received input from the Technology Research Collaborative, a state board of science and technology professionals.

“By investing in our technology startups, the Economic Development Department is nurturing the next generation of innovation – these companies are diversifying the economy and helping to build the highly paid, skilled economy of tomorrow,” Acting EDD Cabinet Secretary Mark Roper said in a statement.

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants are competitive federal grants used to support small businesses the government sees as working on research and development with commercialization potential.

“The purpose of the New Mexico SBIR/STTR Matching Grant is to accelerate the commercialization of technologies developed with federal SBIR/STTR awards,” the release said. “Awards will assist New Mexico science and technology companies with the goal of market entry, customer acquisition, business expansion, job creation, and increasing the tax base.”

Integrated Deposition Solutions got a $25,000 grant from the state. The Albuquerque-based company is a supplier of aerosol printing technology.

“Established in 2013, the company has developed its technology from original patents licensed from Sandia National Laboratories,” the release said. “IDS is rapidly growing in service to the microelectronics, bio-medical, and industrial segments. IDS products, marketed as NanoJet, are ideally suited for integration with a variety of motion platforms.”

NeurInsight LLC also got $25,000 from the state. The Albuquerque-based biotechnology company is developing human brain imaging solutions.

“Most recent products include TurbiFiRE, a real-time task-based and resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) analysis software,” the release said. “NeurInsight recently received Fast-Track STTR grant funding from NINDS to develop presurgical intra-operative real-time resting-state fMRI for applications in patients with brain tumors.”

Additionally, Palladias, a company in Los Alamos that creates mining chemicals to help extract rare earth minerals, got $25,000.

“The company revolutionizes the extraction processes with its advanced technology to enhance efficiency and environmental sustainability for the mining industry,” the release said.

TS Nano, a company in Albuquerque that develops, manufactures, and applies nano-modified polymer sealants used to combat methane leakage at abandoned oil and gas wells, received $25,000.

“The company plans to develop and implement solutions to remediate and prevent leakage from wells used for the long-term storage of CO2,” the release said.

Southwest Sciences, a company in Santa Fe, was one of two entities to receive $50,000. It conducts research into trace gas detection using tunable diode lasers.

“The funds will help accelerate the commercialization of technology for measuring greenhouse gas emissions from a wide variety of agricultural, industrial, and natural sources,” the release said.

VisionQuest Biomedical, another company based in Albuquerque, also got $50,000. It works to develop artificial intelligence-based diagnostic devices to prevent and allow the early treatment of co-morbidities associated with diabetes. Some of these co-morbidities include, “diabetic retinopathy and diabetic peripheral neuropathy, among others,” according to the release.

Plus, Molten Salt Solutions, a company in Santa Fe, received a $100,000 grant. It is working to create technology to produce large amounts of isotopically enriched material necessary for advanced fission and fusion nuclear power.

“The company has extensive collaborations with Los Alamos National Laboratory and has licensed some of the core technology from the lab,” the release said.

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