UNM Rainforest Innovations

The UNM Rainforest Innovations (formerly STC.UNM) Co-investment Fund Committee has approved four proposals this year for FY2021 gap funding. In September, UNM Rainforest Innovations issued its tenth call for proposals to further develop an early-stage, unlicensed UNM technology previously disclosed to UNM Rainforest Innovations. The goal of the funding is to increase the chances of a UNM technology being successfully licensed by industry or become the basis of a new start-up company.

To apply for this funding, which is limited to amounts up to $25,000 for a one-year project, faculty members prepared proposals based on UNM technologies that had been disclosed in invention or copyright disclosure forms. All proposals of early-stage technologies are reviewed for funding by the Gap Fund @ UNM Committee. The committee is comprised of UNM, UNM Rainforest Innovations, and business community members who evaluate proposals for the merit and uniqueness of the technology as well as for their potential for commercialization.

The UNM Rainforest Innovations Co-Investment Fund was established with the UNM Foundation in April 2014 when UNM Regents voted unanimously to create the $1 million fund to co-invest with local angel groups and venture capital funds in UNM start-up companies using technology developed at UNM.

The four proposals chosen for funding this year are listed below.

Proposals Awarded 2021 Gap Funding

PI Name(s) Proposal Title School(s)/Department(s) Funds Awarded
Sakineh Chabi, PhD, Assistant Professor Two-Dimensional Silicon Carbide: The New Wonder Material School of Engineering: Department of Mechanical Engineering $25,000
Fernando Garzon, PhD, Professor


Kannan Ramaiyan, PhD, Research Assistant Professor

Colorimetric Ionizing Radiation Detector School of Engineering: Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Center for Micro-Engineered Materials

Arash Mafi, PhD,


MACSLA: A Device for Characterization and Quality Control of Active Optical Fibers College of Arts & Sciences: Department of Physics & Astronomy


Center for High Technology Materials

Matthew McDuffie, PhD, Professor of Practice Drifteen School of Arts & Sciences: Department of Film and Digital Arts $25,000

For more information on the Gap Fund @ UNM program, also visit: https://innovations.unm.edu/inventors/gap-funding/

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