Client Successes

Sustainable Resources, Inc.

Because of the assistance funded through NMSBA, SRI is now perfectly positioned to become a national leader in algae research.


sustainable1.jpgSustainable Resources, Inc. (SRI) President Joe Ortiz has been working to employ a solar-powered kinetic pump to convert brackish water into fresh water, a process known as desalination. In 2008, Ortiz obtained a long-term lease on the former Roswell National Desalination Facility to test SRI’s pump. When Ortiz discovered the facility also functioned as the U.S. Department of Energy’s Aquatic Species Research Center, he wanted to learn more about the potential applications of algae growth for water purification and biofuel generation.

His idea was to develop the facility, newly named Sun Harvest Proving Ground, into a business incubator for research, development, and commercialization of those technologies. A chance meeting between Ortiz and Steve Walsh, the co-director of the Anderson Schools of Management Management of Technology Program (UNM MOT) at the University of New Mexico, resulted in a New Mexico Small Business Assistance with UNM MOT. Walsh assembled a team of MBA students, including Michael Dunagan, Austin Yost, and Justin Dewey, to perform a technology assessment and forecast as well as an expeditionary marketing study for SRI.

As part of the technological assessment and forecast, the team analyzed the technological competencies for water purification and provided a technology readiness level for the kinetic pump that led them to define a value proposition focused on the combined potential of the pump and the facility. The value proposition was used to forecast the trajectory of the business and its ability to enter the marketplace. Coupled with the information from the expeditionary marketing study, the team provided pathways for the company to build upon its value proposition and differentiate from its competitors. Ortiz attributes his business success to UNM MOT’s innovative approach to marketing and business development. Sun Harvest Proving Ground will now be used as an algae business incubator ready to grow, harvest, extract, and market algae.