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Fourth UNM Business and Economic Summit Promotes Collaboration in New Mexico for a Brighter Future

UNM Rainforest Innovations hosted the fourth UNM Business and Economic Summit on November 16 which convened around a statewide strategic plan developed by the New Mexico Economic Development Department called, “Empower and Collaborate – New Mexico’s Economic Path Forward.”

The summit took place online and a recording of the full event is available on the UNM Rainforest Innovations YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFtbOlx0now.

The event kicked off with Welcome Remarks by Sandra Begay, Chair of the UNM Rainforest Innovations Board of Directors. Afterwards, Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Economic Development Department, Alicia Keyes, and Deputy Secretary, Jon Clark, discussed some of the findings of the EDD report and addressed questions from attendees. The full report, which includes a comprehensive approach and first steps to address statewide recovery, long-term planning, and economic diversification in New Mexico can be found here: http://www.eddstateplan.com/

Keynote Speech

Garnett Stokes, President of the University of New Mexico gave the keynote speech: “UNM and Economic Development in New Mexico: Challenge Accepted (and Challenges Met). Here she covered how the university is currently addressing the six challenge areas identified in the EDD report and their hopes for the future. View the recording of her keynote speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKtRGgrhcQs.

Panel Discussions

Throughout the afternoon there were three panel discussions that included a selection of local stakeholders.

The first panel was the Quantum New Mexico Coalition – Advancing Inclusive Infrastructure. This was moderated by Lisa Kuuttila, CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer of UNM Rainforest Innovations. This partnership between UNM, Sandia National Laboratories, and other Community partners is to establish a hub for quantum information science collaboration activities. Members of the panel included Dave Hanson, Interim Assistant Vice President for Research at UNM, Mary Monson, Senior Manager of the Technology Partnerships and Business Development at Sandia National Laboratories, and Kimball Sekaquaptewa, Chief Technology Director of the Santa Fe Indian School. View the recording of the panel discussion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cusg6bU-mJw.

The second panel was called Biosciences and Educational Innovation for Inclusive Impact. Members of the panel included Sanjeev Arora, Director and Founder of Project ECHO, Dale Dekker, Chair of the New Mexico Bioscience Authority, and Waneta Tuttle, Fund Manager of Tramway Ventures. The moderator of the panel was Doug Ziedonis, Executive Vice President of UNM Health Sciences and CEO of the UNM Health System. View the recording of the panel discussion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eP-J6U8yLc.

The third and final panel was called Northern Rio Grande Corridor Collaborative (Drylands Resilience) and included Luis Cifuentes, Vice President for Research at New Mexico State University, Michael Everhart-Erickson, Lead for the Business Development Team at the Feynman Center for Innovations at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Roberto Osegueda, Vice President for Research at the University of Texas at El Paso, and Jennifer Rudgers, Regents’ Professor of Biology and Director of the Sevilleta Long-Term Ecological Research Program at the University of New Mexico. The discussion was moderated by Ellen Fisher, Vice President for Research at UNM. View the recording of the panel discussion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf3xG0TFrK8.

Closing Remarks

The closing remarks were given by James Holloway, Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of New Mexico.

“Reading the economic development plan from EDD, listening to Secretary Keyes and Deputy Secretary Clark, hearing President Stokes and then the panelists, reading all of the comments in the chart here today, there is an underlying theme… and that is collaboration,” said James Holloway, Ph.D.

“We all benefit from a growing and thriving economy in New Mexico and so it makes sense that we should all try to get there together… If each of us has to address all of these challenges or even most of them, then we will fail. We each have to take steps in our own spheres of work, and we need shared systems and strategies like the EDD plan and coordinating structures to help us align so that all of us are moving towards the same goal.”

View the recoding of his remarks here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2OGj2uGLHQ