Three high-tech New Mexico companies, UbiQD in Los Alamos, BennuBio in Albuquerque and Mesa Photonics in Santa Fe, will receive New Mexico Small Business Innovation Research Grants to help their businesses thrive.
The NMSBIR Grant Program provides recipients with additional resources to commercialize the technology developed using Federal SBIR funding. NMSBIR is designed to support local science and technology companies in achieving these goals. The grant program is overseen by New Mexico Economic Development Department's Office of Science and Technology.
"These companies have proven that innovation thrives in New Mexico. The products they have developed will disrupt markets," said New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes. "The state assistance is helping these businesses grow faster and create the higher-paying jobs we need to diversify the economy."
Los Alamos-based UbiQD is an advanced materials company powering product innovations in agriculture, clean energy, and security. Their novel quantum dots enable industry leaders to harness the power of light. Developed during phase I of the grant, their first product, UbiGro, is a layer of light that uses fluorescence to create a more optimal greenhouse spectrum for crops.
NASA is interested in using this technology to enhance crop production on long-duration space missions or on a mars or lunar base. The SBIR matching project will be leveraged to support critical commercialization not covered by the main NASA grant. The company has 34 active patents in its portfolio and funds will be used to support portfolio costs and new filings.
A second firm, Santa Fe-based Mesa Photonics created a ground-based remote sensor for measuring variations in humidity from the ground up to altitudes as high as 50,000 feet, used to improve weather forecasting and for better understanding climate. NMSBIR matching funds will be used to build a beta-prototype natural gas leak sensor and to support field tests including measurements in the Four Corners region and the Permian basin.
A third company BennuBio has created their first product, Velocyt, a flow cytometer that can analyze particles the size of a small BB, which is a near perfect starting point to create a High Throughput Screening (HTS) platform that uses multicellular models (balls of many cells called ‘spheroids’ that can be 1 mm in diameter) for drug discovery.
“The three awarded companies are prime examples of innovations, born right here in New Mexico, that started from a patent, developed a product, and are well on their way to commercializing their technology,” Director of the Office of Science and Technology Myrriah Tomar added.