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U.S. Navy selects NMSU Arrowhead Center-based program to host technology innovation summit

The New Mexico Federal and State Technology Partnership Program, housed at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center, has been named the host for the 2017 Naval Sea Systems Command Small Business Innovation Research Western States Topics Summit, an important event that addresses opportunities for New Mexico technology-based innovative businesses to connect with the U.S. Navy.


Albuquerque was chosen as a location over larger seaside metropolitan areas for the Dec. 13 event, which will take place at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Why host a Navy event in a land-locked state? Navy technology can be found everywhere, and it is developed and tested on land long before its use in sea-faring vessels. NAVSEA’s selection of New Mexico is a testament to the rich, innovative technology and federal infrastructure in the state.

The permanently dry-docked USS Desert Ship at White Sands Missile Range is an illustrative example of the Navy’s ongoing presence in New Mexico. Built in 1951 and developed to train Navy personnel, it has been in constant use, and is used to test naval surface-to-air weapons systems.

The NAVSEA SBIR Western States Topics Summit presents an opportunity for small technology firms to learn how their innovative ideas or capabilities – either technology or services – can be delivered to the Navy. The Navy invests $350 million every year in innovative ideas.

The symposium’s Albuquerque location was chosen in a competitive site-selection process. As the host site, NM FAST will livestream the event to other satellite locations chosen by NAVSEA. A Navy representative will be present at each satellite location. The summit will feature SBIR-focused panels, representation from an array of organizations, and opportunities to meet one-on-one with Navy subject-matter experts.

“NAVSEA is excited to once again be participating in the Navy SBIR/STTR Topics Workshop and we look forward to meeting the small businesses that call New Mexico home,” said Dean Putnam, NAVSEA SBIR/STTR program manager. “This event has grown significantly since we first began working with the Smaller Businesses Association of New England four years ago and we are looking forward to working with Dana Catron and the Arrowhead Center New Mexico FAST team who are hosting our West Coast event in Albuquerque this year.”

The NM FAST program, which is supported by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, works to improve the participation of small businesses in federal SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer programs for innovative, technology-driven small businesses. NM FAST has gained traction in New Mexico by offering statewide workshops, mentoring and micro-grant awards for eligible small businesses.

Tech companies, small businesses, economic development organizations, researchers, faculty, inventors and students are encouraged to attend the Albuquerque symposium for a chance to visit one-on-one with Navy representatives and hear presentations and addresses from several high-ranking officials. It is an SBIR/STTR funding event that is also relevant to anyone interested in intellectual property coming out of the state’s universities.

The day-long event will feature keynote speakers, panel sessions on best practices, and presentations from Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Air Systems Command and SBIR program offices. To stay informed of updates, visit https://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/innovationsummit.

The event is sponsored by Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University and the City of Albuquerque. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. For information on how your organization can benefit from partnering with this elite, one-of-a-kind event, contact Dana Catron, program manager for NM FAST, at 505-358-4039 or dderego@nmsu.edu.