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NEW MEXICO FEDERAL AND STATE TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM

NMSU business-development program recognized

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The U.S. Small Business Administration has honored the New Mexico Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program -- housed at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center -- with the 2020 Tibbetts Award in recognition of the program’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) achievements.

The Tibbetts Award, named after SBIR program founder Roland Tibbets, recognizes exemplary companies, organizations and individuals who demonstrate the goals of the SBIR/STTR programs to promote innovation, commercialization, technology transfer and cooperatives between small businesses and research institutions and encourage diversity within innovation and entrepreneurship.

“The development, expansion and success of entrepreneurial and economic development ecosystems require several key fundamental elements,” said NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu. “The NM FAST program and its continued support of SBIR and STTR in New Mexico is one of those foundational elements. Arrowhead’s work during the last six years to build this incredible program and resource – work that warrants national attention such as the Tibbetts Award – is a testament to the sustained effort by all involved.”

This year, 38 companies, seven organizations and 14 individuals were recognized for their accomplishments within the SBIR/STTR programs. NM FAST was one of seven organizations awarded.

“We are incredibly honored to receive this award,” said Dana Catron, SBIR program director and director of strategic operations at Arrowhead. “During the last six years, and with the support of SBA FAST funding, our team has built an incredible program and resource for New Mexico’s startup community and has gone above and beyond to ensure programming and assistance evolve to meet the unique challenges our clients face.”

The establishment of NM FAST in 2015 created a space in New Mexico dedicated to guiding small businesses through SBIR and STTR proposal-development programming and assistance, particularly focusing on serving first-time applicants.

The program’s mission from the onset has been to provide support to underserved populations within the state. Twenty three percent of NM FAST’s clients have been rural businesses, 36 percent are minority-owned, 31 percent are women-owned and 89 percent are first-time applicants.

In its five-year history, NM FAST has demonstrated its growth in capacity, serving 193 SBIR/STTR clients, assisting an average of 30 clients per quarter, and nine new intakes per quarter. Across 70 outreach and assistance workshops and events throughout New Mexico, 12 communities have been reached, with 75 percent of them being rural.

NM FAST has also awarded more than $50,000 in up to $2,000 micro-grants to clients during the life of the program for proposal-development assistance. Since 2015, New Mexico small businesses supported by NM FAST have received more than $9.4 million in SBIR/STTR funding.

“For Arrowhead clients, more than 100 have submitted applications, and most say they would not have been able to get the proposals together without Arrowhead FAST assistance,” said New Mexico Economic Development Department Secretary Alicia Keyes. “In 2020 alone, FAST clients received more than $5.5 million of investment.”

Contact Dana Catron at 505-469-8411 or dderego@ad.nmsu.edu Visit https://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/program/nm-fast/.