'New Mexico Technology Corridor' conference touts Sandia Science and Technology Park to industry
Sandia National Laboratories and City of Albuquerque officials are promoting the park -- which would be located just outside Kirtland Air Force Base's Eubank Gate -- as the pivot spot of the New Mexico Technology Corridor.
A highlight of the conference will be the groundbreaking at the building site of EMCOREwest, an expansion facility for Somerset, N.J.-headquartered EMCORE, the world's largest supplier of compound semiconductor epitaxial wafers. Gov. Gary Johnson will speak at the groundbreaking.
EMCORE acquired Albuquerque-based Micro Optical Devices (MODE) in a $30 million deal late last year in a move unrelated to creating EMCOREwest. MODE was created by former Sandia researchers Tom Brennan and Robert Bryan from spin-off vertical cavity surface emitting laser technology developed at Sandia.
"The use of the proposed EMCOREwest facility is to expand capacity along all of our existing product lines, as well as the commercialization of new technologies we may develop with Sandia," Reuben Richards, president and CEO of EMCORE, said recently. "While device types may vary, our basic process is the same in any and all of EMCORE's manufacturing facilities. We look forward to having the City of Albuquerque learn more about our company and our exciting and rapidly expanding compound semiconductor technology."
Industrial revenue bonds sought
"Much of the technology we'll be using at the site is the technology EMCORE developed in partnership with Sandia," EMCOREwest Chief Business Officer Karen Schneider said in a recent interview. "Now, we'll be right there at the front gate."
EMCORE has been closely involved in cooperative research with Sandia since 1992 in compound semiconductor, reactor, and device technology, according to EMCOREwest Chief Technology Officer Hong Hou. He said that cooperative research has dramatically benefitted the compound semiconductor industry as a whole while simultaneously benefitting a variety of commercial and military applications.
EMCORE corporate spokeswoman Jo Ann McDonald said the ongoing collaboration "is viewed as an ideally typical example of successful 'dual-use' technology development" in which commercial applications parallel defense applications.
Advanced compound semiconductor technology in the USA was originally developed within the Defense and Energy departments. Many of Sandia's technologies that are currently being licensed by commercial companies such as EMCORE have their roots in DoD and DOE applications.
The two-day New Mexico Technology Corridor Conference at the Albuquerque Convention Center will feature representatives and exhibits from participating institutions, talks, panel discussions, and exhibits touting the high value of locating an office in New Mexico.
Park will have 'unique value'
"The Sandia Science and Technology Park forms the eastern anchor of the 'Gibson Corridor,' which embraces Sandia, the Air Force Research Laboratory Phillips Site, the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, and the University of New Mexico," he said. "This, in turn, anchors the 'New Mexico Technology Corridor' running up the Rio Grande Valley from New Mexico State University to Los Alamos National Laboratory.
"It's this enormous reservoir of knowledge and talent that is attracting Fortune 500 companies into partnerships and co-located-R&D at the park. This is not the typical research park where proximity to other R&D institutions is the main draw; this park is a virtual extension of Sandia, where partnership is the draw."
In addition to speakers and exhibits, conference attendees will have the opportunity to see UNM, Albuquerque's Technical-Vocational Institute, the Air Force's Phillips lab, and other sites on "windshield" tours and the option of walking tours through Sandia's Microelectronics Development Lab, the Robotic Manufacturing Science and Engineering Lab, and the Cooperative Monitoring Center.
Labs Director C. Paul Robinson and Albuquerque Mayor Jim Baca will welcome participants at the Convention Center and Hartley will present an overview of Sandia and the park. Sens. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., also are scheduled to participate in conference events.
"We are pleased to be a major partner with Sandia National Labs and AED in the development of this innovative research park," said Albuquerque Mayor Jim Baca. "Our collaborative effort will enhance Sandia's ability to work with private industry and provide meaningful jobs for New Mexicans. This park will be another valuable asset for our community."
First public look at park
"We've had such a positive response to the park concept -- from industry, community, and political leaders -- which is an indication of the overall high level of appeal," she said. "Furthermore, we are delighted to be partnering with the City of Albuquerque on the effort."
Richard Steichen, vice president of Goodyear's Worldwide Tire Technology, is scheduled as the first-day luncheon speaker. His speech is titled "Goodyear: Partnering with Sandia National Laboratories." Reps. Joe Skeen and Bill Redmond, both R-N.M., are invited to address the group in the early afternoon of the first day of the conference.
Several panels of speakers from industry, universities, and other R&D institutions will address the appropriate role of a park like this and the governance and infrastructure issues that are critical to its success.
The conference will wrap up with an informal luncheon at the 200-acre park site, following windshield and walking tours of nearby facilities.
Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram national laboratory operated by a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation for the U.S. Department of Energy. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has broad-based research and development programs contributing to national defense, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
More information on the conference and park available at http://www.sandia.gov/SSTP/SciPark.htm
Howard Kercheval, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 844-7842
City of Albuquerque:
Luisa Lindsey, email@example.com, (505) 768-3000
Jo Ann McDonald, firstname.lastname@example.org, (915) 463-5345
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