Innovation event displays technology from around NM

By Kevin Robinson-Avila / Journal Staff Writer/Albuquerque Journal

Badojo software inventor Panaiotis, left, creates music with a PanMuse LLC’s touch board technology at the Innovate New Mexico technology showcase on Tuesday. (KEVIN ROBINSON-AVILA/JOURNAL)

From biosensors to cancer-targeting technology, a broad range of innovation was on display Tuesday at the Innovate New Mexico technology showcase at the Sandia Golf Club in Albuquerque.

The twice-per-year event, which first launched in spring 2016, unites innovators and technology transfer professionals from the state’s research universities and national laboratories in a joint effort to attract investor interest in new, cutting-edge innovation.

Nearly 160 people participated on Tuesday, including more than 100 businesspeople, investors and corporate technology scouts. About 30 of them came from other states and countries, including China, India and Japan, said Lisa Kuuttila, the University of New Mexico’s chief economic development officer and head of the Science and Technology Corp., UNM’s tech-transfer office.

“It’s an opportunity for all the state’s research universities and national labs to showcase their technologies together,” Kuuttila said. “It’s enabling us to get national and international attention for our science and technology assets.”

Innovators discussed six different technologies from UNM, New Mexico Tech, New Mexico State University, Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

The Air Force lab showed a new glass covering for solar panels on satellites to better protect them in space. The lab wants to license that for commercial applications, such as shielding solar cells on unmanned aerial vehicles.

Sandia discussed microneedle sensors about the width of three human hairs that can be used in wearable devices to continuously monitor for health and human performance.

UNM showed a new DNA-based biosensor for rapid detection of specific diseases, such as dengue. It also discussed a novel cancer-targeting technology to diagnose and treat tumors, which it developed in collaboration with LANL.

New Mexico Tech had a mobile water-purifying system for use on-site at oil and gas wells to reduce costs for treating and disposing of produced water. And NMSU showed a new carbon-capture technology that can absorb a lot more carbon than other materials in use today.

About 15 startup companies from around the state also pitched their products and services at the event.

Two Dow Chemical technology scouts from India and the western U.S. said they were attracted by the unique materials-related technologies emerging in New Mexico and the novel approach of showing it through a collaborative, statewide initiative.

“Where we come from, it’s rare to find events with such a high concentration of materials research and development that’s of interest to us,” said Leigh Thompson, a Dow scout in California.

Her colleague, Chedarampet Karthikeyan of India, said the participation of three national labs is a big selling point.

“You don’t see that in many places,” Karthikeyan said.

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