New Mexico Small Business Assistance: Solving small business challenges through laboratory expertise SUBMIT request for assistance NMSBA Los Alamos National Laboratory Sandias National Laboratory


November 3, 2011
LANL engineers help New Mexico small businesses

LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, November 1, 2011—Two Los Alamos National Laboratory engineers were recognized today for helping small businesses in New Mexico with technical expertise and other assistance.

Charles Lucero, formerly of the Laboratory’s Applied Engineering and Technology Division, and G. Loren Toole, of the Computer, Computational, and Statistical Sciences Division, received Principal Investigator Excellence (PIE) Awards for assisting several New Mexico small businesses. They were recognized at an invitation-only breakfast reception at the Los Alamos Research Park. Lucero and Toole each was presented with a certificate of appreciation — and a freshly baked pie. Los Alamos National Security, LLC, the New Mexico Small Business Assistance (NMSBA) Program, and Northern New Mexico Connect sponsored the recognition event.

“For the past three years, NMSBA has provided my team members the opportunity to help solve problems that impede New Mexico small business problems. All of these projects have required on-site interaction with businesses, identification of needs, and Laboratory capability to get the job done,” said Toole. “The most rewarding aspect of this program has been positive feedback from businesses that have met their goals, thanks in part to our effort. This is a great opportunity to see our technical capability applied to problems and realize immediate outcomes.”

"NMSBA gave my team and me the opportunity to work on projects outside the scope of the weapons-related tooling we normally work on," said Lucero. "It is ?rewarding to learn about the ideas that people outside the Lab have, and be able to help them transform their ideas into reality."

At no cost to them, small businesses with technical challenges can seek assistance from laboratory scientists or engineers for projects that require testing, design consultation, or access to special equipment or facilities. Assistance takes the form of Lab staff hours valued at up to $20,000 per calendar year for businesses located in rural New Mexico counties, and $10,000 for businesses located in Bernalillo County. The total amount of assistance is capped at $2.4 million annually for each of New Mexico’s two national laboratories.

The NMSBA Program was created in 2000 by the State Legislature to bring national laboratory technology and expertise to small businesses in New Mexico, promoting economic development with an emphasis on rural areas. LANL joined the program in 2007. In 2010, NMSBA assisted 339 small businesses across the state.

Laboratory scientists and investigators interested in collaborating with small businesses through the NMSBA Program should contact Becky Coel-Roback of LANL’s Community Programs Office at 505-667-1710 or