Venture Acceleration Fund now accepting 2012 applications
- Nancy Ambrosiano
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LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO, January 23, 2011—The Venture Acceleration Fund of Los Alamos National Security, LLC, the company that manages and operates Los Alamos National Laboratory for the National Nuclear Security Administration, is now accepting applications for the 2012 calendar year. The three companies selected will receive up to $100,000 each to commercialize technology and take it to market faster.
The Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) helps innovative companies reach the next level of success through business and technology development activities, such as proof-of-concept, prototyping, securing initial customers, or obtaining additional funding. Companies located in the Northern New Mexico counties of Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval, Rio Arriba, Taos, San Miguel, and Mora are given preference for funding, as are projects associated with LANL technology or expertise.
VAF applications will be accepted throughout 2012 and will be reviewed in three rounds corresponding to three application deadlines: February 24, May 25, and August 25. One award will be made for each round. “The quality of applications has increased greatly over the past two years, so we expect the process will be competitive for 2012,” said David Pesiri, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Technology Transfer Division leader. “Nevertheless, our team often assists those companies that aren’t selected by connecting them with other resources to meet their specific needs and achieve good commercialization outcomes for the broadest set of customers possible.
In 2011, Los Alamos start-up company Manhattan Isotope Technology, LLC received a VAF award to develop, test, and validate a radio analytical lab for manufacturing strontium-82, which is used for heart imaging. The company is positioned to expand the limited availability of strontium-82 to the marketplace, currently only produced by Los Alamos National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Vista Therapeutics, Inc. of Santa Fe also received VAF funding in 2011. The company is developing a NanoBiosensor System that will revolutionize the measurement of biomarkers, such as proteins, that are produced in response to trauma or disease. Funding was used to complete research and development and to adapt devices for a potential first customer. Chief Scientific Officer Spencer Farr expects that Vista’s new technology will hasten a personalized approach to medicine and will help the company create 40 high-paying jobs.
Ideum, another VAF recipient, used its funding to develop a new version of the company’s gesture-based software platform called “GestureWorks” for international release. Ideum customizes interactive exhibits and multi-touch tables for museums. “The VAF award allowed us to accelerate our schedule from 16 months to eight,” says Ideum’s founder, Jim Spadaccini. “This has huge implications for getting into the marketplace quickly.”
Los Alamos National Security, LLC invests $1 million per year in economic development through a program known as Northern New Mexico Connect. Northern New Mexico Connect promotes VAF and a variety of other business development programs. In the past six years, 166 companies have created and retained 240 jobs and attracted $8.2 million in new funding and financing as a result of their work with Northern New Mexico Connect.
To find out more about the LANS Venture Acceleration Fund or to submit a VAF Application in 2012, visit www.nnmconnect.net or contact Belinda Snyder of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Technology Transfer Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, BWXT Government Group, and URS, an AECOM company, for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.
Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.