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INNOVATE LEA COUNTY Explains New Possibilities for Growth in SE New Mexico

INNOVATE LEA COUNTY Explains New Possibilities for Growth in SE New Mexico photo 4/14/2016 3:50:19 p.m. - Hobbs, NM.  

Several years ago, leaders of Lea County and New Mexico Junior College discussed how to bring economic diversity to the region.  Out of those talks, the New Horizons Foundation (NHF) was created in 2011 with the goal to stimulate new, sustainable, economic growth in Hobbs and Lea County.  The foundation has been successful in creating a model that can bring technological innovations to Southeastern New Mexico for companies and entrepreneurs, and is sponsoring a public awareness event, Saturday, April 23rd from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. so the community can learn and understand the possibilities available to them.  It will take place at NMJC’s Training and Outreach facility, off Millen Drive in Hobbs.

“Innovate Lea County” is open to entrepreneurs and the business community. Attendees will learn about the partnerships between Lea County, New Horizons Foundation and the Department of Defense Research labs, to provide entrepreneurs and businesses access to “de-risked” technologies developed by researchers in federal laboratories.  These partnerships make available possible commercialization across a variety of industries, including oil and gas, advanced materials, environmental technology and advanced manufacturing.

“We are a research foundation that is very unique, especially for a rural region,” says Dale Gannaway, Executive Director of New Horizons Foundation. “We have an exclusive “Cooperative Research and Development Agreement” (CRADA) with the Department of Defense (DOD) to take innovative ideas and see if they are viable, then work with Department of Defense Laboratories for testing and exploration.  The CRADA gives us unprecedented access to federal research facilities and well over 8,000 researchers, engineers, and scientists.” (DOD receives over $40 billion of research funding annually.)

“At Innovate Lea County, we will explain the purpose of the foundation, and give attendees an update on some of the innovations that are already being utilized in Lea County.  Our goal is to focus on those ideas that will have enough private-sector demand to make it to market quickly.”

The program will begin with an overview of the foundation by Ron Black, NHF Board Chairman and Lea County Commissioner.  Panelists include Tim Wittig, NHF Technology Manager, Lance Anderson, NHF Patent Counsel, and Gary Pankonien, NHF Entrepreneur in Residence.  Also, Gary Buie, CEO and President of Pemco of New Mexico, will discuss the benefits to Lea County, and how New Horizons Foundation is helping his business grow.  Questions will be answered after the panel discussion.

Innovate Lea County is free and includes a continental breakfast.  Registration is from 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., with the panel discussion beginning at 8:30 a.m.  RSVP’s are encouraged to Dale Gannaway at dgannaway@nmjc.edu or 575-492-4712.

About New Horizons Foundation

New Horizons Foundation works parallel with the State of New Mexico’s strategic plan for economic growth and diversification for 2013-2018, which states: “Innovation is the basis for economic change in today’s global, national and state environments. New Mexico will diversify its economy by encouraging greater innovation in educating its children, in diversifying and growing its economy and in competing for economic opportunity for all of its citizens.”

The Foundation’s mission is to promote, develop and administer technological innovations for applied scientific, educational, and economic wealth creation for public benefit and economic growth. It is a 501(c)3 organization that was formed via a partnership between the Lea County Commission and New Mexico Junior College.

The Board of NHF is comprised of community leaders: Ron Black, Lea County Commission Chairman; Dr. Steve McCleery, NMJC President; Gregg Fulfer, Lea County entrepreneur, business owner and Lea County Commissioner; Guy Kesner, Daniels Insurance; Mike Gallagher, Lea County Manager; Dr. David Schmidly, former President of the University of New Mexico; and Tres Hicks, Board Chair of the Economic Development Corporation of Lea County.

Additional information about New Horizons Foundation is available here.

For more information:  Dale Gannaway at 575-492-4712 or dgannaway@nmjc.edu.

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