New Mexico Start-Up Factory, UNM Anderson School of Management, and UNM Health Sciences Center partnered to win $3.25M Grant from National Institutes of Health

September 29, 2022 - Anna Dykeman

Albuquerque, N.M. – In a new collaboration, the New Mexico Start-Up Factory, UNM Health Sciences Center, and the UNM Anderson School of Management have been awarded a $3.25M grant from National Institutes of Health I-RED program to develop an educational product to promote technology commercialization and entrepreneurship by faculty, trainees and students in the western IDeA states, which include New Mexico, Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to create a training product that can be used across the western IDeA states. We are extremely excited to help other institutions learn from our areas of strength,” said Principal Investigator Dr. Robert DelCampo, Executive Director of the Anderson School of Management Innovation Academy.

The primary goal of this award and the IDeA Regional Entrepreneurship Development (I-RED) program is to support small business concerns in IDeA regions to develop educational products that promote entrepreneurship in underserved states through local academic institutions. Educational efforts utilizing these products are expected to build biomedical researchers' and students' entrepreneurial skills that are crucially needed to translate scientific discoveries and innovative technologies into commercial products to the benefit of the public and the patient.

With these goals in mind, Anderson’s Innovation Academy will adapt their current student-focused entrepreneurial training to the unique needs of medical professionals. Using Anderson’s current Executive and Professional Education course structure, innovation education will be accessible beyond New Mexico’s borders. The New Mexico Start-Up Factory, with its unique technology transfer process, will coordinate with both UNM Anderson and UNM Health Sciences Center to fine-tune these educational programs and launch them in the IDeA states with institutional support.

“The UNM Health Sciences Center is a regional and national leader in entrepreneurship and the commercialization of basic and translational research through licensing and the creation of startup companies. Such activities directly benefit patients and the public through the development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics,” said Principal Investigator Dr. Eric Prossnitz from UNM Health Sciences Center. With a fresh focus on entrepreneurial development, the New Mexico Start-Up Factory will lead the program through institutional collaboration focused on positive economic development and entrepreneurial support.

“This program will allow our team to go above and beyond in providing important resources to aspiring entrepreneurs and scientists while building successful institutional programs focused on innovative technology transfer,” said Vice President of the New Mexico Start-Up Factory Andrea M. Garcia. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the western IDeA states to develop an educational product to advance technologies into the marketplace and establish a strong foundation for commercialization based on their specific needs.”

The ASCEND 2.0 program will be funded by this award for up three years and will provide faculty, trainees and students with interactive mentorship and education on technology transfer, equity funding, non-dilutive funding and key market development. By striving for these specific translational and economic goals, the impact of this grant will be significant and far reaching.