The Lobo Rainforest, a 160,000-square-foot multiuse building that is the first piece of Innovate ABQ, the seven-acre downtown hub of the Innovation Central district in Albuquerque. (Photo courtesy of University of New Mexico)
Sandia opening an office in the heart of Albuquerque’s innovation district
Sandia will open an office this fall in the University of New Mexico’s Lobo Rainforest, a 160,000-square-foot multiuse building that is the first piece of Innovate ABQ, the seven-acre downtown hub of the Innovation Central district in Albuquerque.
“Sandia is an integral part of the high-tech business community along with UNM, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and many others who are committed to improving the New Mexico economy,” Dave Douglass, Sandia’s deputy labs director, said to a standing ovation at the Aug. 25 Rainforest ribbon-cutting. “Sandia is proud to be part of Innovate ABQ and proud of the robust partnerships we have formed to advance economic development in the state.”
Innovate ABQ is a public-private partnership created to develop a seven-acre innovation center in downtown Albuquerque to foster economic development and job creation in New Mexico. It aims to develop more than 600,000 square feet of dense, walkable space devoted to bringing together New Mexico’s innovators to foster the creation of long-term, job-creating ventures.
The Rainforest is at the site of the old First Baptist Church building at Central and Broadway avenues. It will house Innovate ABQ tenants, UNM’s Innovation Academy, and a student dorm with the goal of bringing together economic and academic programs.
Sandia signed a lease in August for office space in the Rainforest, and plans to open a downtown node for its Center for Collaboration & Commercialization, or C3, in late September. C3 is designed to strengthen partnerships, technology transfer, and ties to the community, and offers programming and services to boost Sandia’s interaction with industry, academia, and government.
Called C3 Downtown, the new office will focus on programs that move Sandia-developed technologies into the commercial marketplace. The office will have one full-time staff person, a part-time manager, and other staff members holding regular office hours. It will also be a landing place where other Sandians can drop in and work.
Community members will be able to meet with Sandia staff to discuss licensing, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program, and other technology transfer programs. The office will also host representatives from Sandia’s supplier and community relations organizations and the Labs’ Entrepreneur Exploration program, which links scientists and engineers with business opportunities and resources provided by a variety of partners.
“C3 Downtown will bring Sandia’s tech transfer team together with colleagues from UNM and the Air Force Research Laboratory. The three tech transfer organizations working together will collectively increase the impact of our work,” says Susan Seestrom, Sandia’s chief research officer and associate laboratories director for Advanced Science and Technology Div. 1000. “Sandia looks forward to being part of the vibrant entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem in downtown Albuquerque. Working together, Sandia, the city, UNM, and all our local partners will be a powerful force spurring innovation and economic growth in our region.”