Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Connections Newsletter
The Lab's Connection to the Northern New Mexico Community!

December 2012/January 2013

$165,000 Awarded to Regional Businesses by LANS

Los Alamos National Security, LLC’s Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) will help four regional businesses with awards totaling $165,000. The companies Mustomo, Inc. (Los Alamos), IX Power (Los Alamos), Synfolia (Santa Fe), and Tape-Ease (Santa Fe) represent two biotech start-ups, a water and power company, and a hardware inventor.

Mustomo, Inc. received $100,000 to commercialize novel LANL technology for breast cancer screening and detection. The ultrasound-based, three-dimensional tomography system the company developed has significant advantages over x-ray mammograms and ultrasound screenings since it's safe and comfortable, has high-resolution capabilities, and is easy to administer. In conjunction with clinical trials at the University of New Mexico Medical Center, Mustomo will use its VAF award to complete an operator manual, procedural guide, quality assurance and test plans, and to implement on-site training and a test-result review. The company will also prepare a preliminary Food and Drug Administration filing prior to entering the marketplace.

IX Power received $30,000 to develop a product demonstration for Trans-Ex, a software package developed at LANL to optimize electric power grid supply and delivery configuration. IX Power will partner with Local Power of Marshall, CA, to identify candidate sites and market opportunities for renewable energy and efficiency deployments in San Francisco. The team includes six IX Power founders led by CEO John R. (Grizz) Deal, former LANL Computer Research & Applications Group Leader Vance Faber, and former LANL scientist Jonathan Bradley. Gaspar Loren Toole of Los Alamos will provide technical assistance to the company through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program.

Synfolia of Santa Fe received $20,000 to conduct materials and biodegradability testing for tailored tissue scaffolds that regenerate epidermal and bone tissue. The company has exclusive rights to commercialize technology that was jointly developed by the University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratories. The company’s bioengineered scaffolds improve upon products currently used for tissue generation because they use the patient’s own cells and degrade easily. Synfolia’s team includes Elizabeth Dirk of the University of New Mexico, Shawn Dirk, Stephen P. Buerger of Sandia National Laboratories, and Dr. Reza Shekarriz.

Tape-Ease received $15,000 to manufacture and market its products through trade shows, merchandising, and video production. The woman-owned company invented practical tools that attach to a standard tape measure, enabling accurate and quick measurements by a single person. Tape-Ease secured a manufacturer and began distribution with a phenomenal initial response, prompting Tape-Ease to seek VAF support to capitalize on interest in the product. “The funding allowed us to accelerate our momentum in fulfilling orders and marketing our products,” says Tape-Ease founder Linda Johnson. “By helping us attend the International Builders Show for the first time, VAF opened the door to distributors from all over the world. VAF has been a lifeline for Tape-Ease. We're so grateful!”

Los Alamos National Security, LLC, manager of Los Alamos National Laboratory, invests $1 million per year in economic development through its Los Alamos Connect program, which promotes VAF and a variety of other business development resources. The VAF efforts have generated a $24 million return in the regional economy on a $2.46 million LANS investment and helped create or retain 48 jobs.

For more information on the Venture Acceleration Fund, go to http://losalamosconnect.net/index.php?page=lans-venture-acceleration-fund.

The Valles Caldera is Ready for its Close-up

The first of three documentaries on the Valles Caldera could air on the local Public Broadcasting System (KNME) as soon as January. The piece, called Valles Caldera: The Science, explores the potential impact of climate change and the 2011 Los Conchas fire on the sensitive ecosystem in the area.

The documentary relies on interviews with scientists and animation to help make various scientific concepts more understandable to a general audience. Becky Coel-Roback, with the Lab’s New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program, helped provide technical assistance for the project. Brent Newman (Earth Systems Observations) served as the Lab principal investigator on the project and consulted on the technical aspects of the documentary’s animation. Frasier Goff, a retired Lab scientist, is featured in the film.

To check when the documentary might air, go to http://www.newmexicopbs.org/.

You can view the project on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Valles-Caldera-Documentary/197296280348297

LANL Subcontractor Supports the Region: SOC

Day & Zimmermann’s SOC Los Alamos organization, a Lab major subcontractor and supplier of security services, takes its commitment to the regional community so seriously that last year it hired Liddie Martinez as its full-time Community& Economic Development Director. Through these efforts, SOC was able to provide more than $55,000 in direct financial contributions to various efforts, and Martinez also supported a number of organizations through her time and expertise.

Martinez supports several efforts, such as the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation (where she is board president), Wreaths Across America, the Northern New Mexico College Board, Accelerate New Mexico Board, and the Lab's Major Subcontracting Consortium. Her involvement totaled more than 900 hours of support during the year.

The company’s financial giving has benefited numerous organizations across the economic development, education, and giving sectors, including Leadership New Mexico, Think New Mexico, The Family YMCA, and many others. The organization’s employees do their part by volunteering at area schools, fundraisers, youth organizations, and community organizations such as the Santa Clara Fire Department.

The work is done as part of the Lab’s requirement for all contractors with subcontracts of $5 million or more to create and implement a Regional Community Development Plan.

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