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State awards three technology companies $100,000 grants

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Technology reporter , Albuquerque Business First

Several technology companies in New Mexico will receive grants from the state, the Economic Development Department announced Jan. 13.

BennuBio of Albuquerque is one of three firms that were each selected to receive $100,000 New Mexico Small Business Innovation Research grants, which provide companies with additional resources to commercialize technology developed using federal SBIR funding. The program received seven applicants, which were reviewed by the state’s Technology Research Collaborative Board, according to a release from the state.

“The SBIR matching grant from the State of New Mexico will be instrumental in developing both the marketing and manufacturing capabilities necessary to bring our products to the worldwide market. It is extremely beneficial that the state has such a program for small companies like ours,” said BennuBio CEO Steve Graves in a statement.

The company’s instruments reportedly use flow cytometry — a technology that is used to analyze cells or particles as they flow in a solution past lasers — to analyze samples regardless of particle size or sample volume.

Mesa Photonics in Santa Fe will also receive a grant, the state’s release says. The company develops and manufactures laser pulse measurement systems. NMSBIR funding will be used to build a sensor for natural gas leaks, according to the state.

Also selected for the program was UbiQD, an advanced materials firm, according to the state’s release. The Los Alamos company recently announced $4.5 million in new investment. The firm says its first commercial product, a material called UbiGro, can help plants use sunlight more effectively. The product increased crop yield by 10% to 20% when used by pilot customers and technology institutes, according to a December release from the company.

“The three awarded companies are prime examples of innovations, born right here in New Mexico, that started from a patent, developed a product, and are well on their way to commercializing their technology,” said Myrriah Tomar, director of the state’s Office of Science and Technology, in a statement.

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