Regional Coalition Engages on Future of LANL Tech Transfer and Manhattan Project National Historical Park

December 13, 2016


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December 13, 2016: Santa Fe, New Mexico: The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities (RCLC) hosted its regular Board Meeting on December 9, 2016 in the City Santa Fe Council Chambers, where it focused its discussion on economic development opportunities through LANL technology transfer and the ongoing development of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

Deputy John Russell from the Richard P. Feynman Center for Innovation presented on Los Alamos National Laboratories’ (LANL) Technology Transfer Program, reporting that roughly 40% of the Feynman Center’s technology licenses are in small businesses nationwide and thus far, have invested $3.6 million in seven Northern New Mexico counties, which have created or retained over 488 jobs statewide. The Feynman Center supports regional business development through a variety of avenues including the venture acceleration fund, MBA internships, postdoctoral trainings and the small business technical assistance program.

Since 2000, the Feynman Center, LANL and Sandia Labs have jointly offered free technical assistance to approximately 2,650 small businesses around the state. The Feynman Center is currently strategizing on how to encourage business startups to stay in New Mexico through building an entrepreneurial culture within LANL workforce and engaging professionals in building out a national security business niche in cooperation with the Lab. The Feynman Center hopes to involve regional business and government stakeholders to support startups in continuing their operations within the state. The Regional Coalition is greatly interested in how to leverage technology transfer program opportunities within the region to cultivate new businesses through the relationships with the Lab.

Pivoting the discussion to the future national park going into northern New Mexico, Linda Matteson, Project Manager of the Manhattan National Historical Park within Los Alamos County, provided the Regional Coalition with background information on the Manhattan Park’s formation, key objectives, and draft historical “themes” to be addressed as the Park develops and tells the story of the WWII era nuclear discovery.

Themes to be covered in the Park’s curating include: individual and community sacrifices, technological innovation and collaboration, confronting profound choices, as well as severe human and environmental consequences. Matteson extended the invitation to the RCLC to collaborate around strategies for regional tourism and economic development. City of Santa Fe Councilor Peter Ives and Los Alamos County Councilor Kristen Henderson recognized the “tremendous opportunity for regional tourism” and expressed an interest to “collaborate with local stakeholders, Los Alamos County and surrounding communities to understand the full breadth and impact of the atomic story”.

During public comment, several constituents echoed the concern for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park to incorporate all sides of the story, particularly to include Hispanic and Indigenous communities. Although the park is not yet open to the public, Matteson reported that the first location to open for public access will be the Pajarito Site sometime within the next couple years.

The Regional Coalition’s next board meeting, open to the public, will be held on Friday, January 13, 2017 from 9:00-11:00am at the Española City Council Chambers.

Follow us on Twitter for updates on environmental cleanup and regional economic development efforts related to LANL. For any special requirements or to view meeting materials, please visit http://regionalcoalition.org or contact info@regionalcoalition.org.

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For media inquiries, please contact:  Scarlet Rendleman, 505.660.6937, Scarlet@RegionalCoalition.org

 

ABOUT THE REGIONAL COALITION: The Regional Coalition is comprised of nine cities, towns, counties and pueblos surrounding the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Founded in 2011, the Regional Coalition works in partnership to ensure national decisions incorporate local needs and concerns. The organization’s focus is regional economic development and site employment, environmental remediation, and adequate funding for LANL. The 2016 Board of Directors includes Chair, Commissioner Barney Trujillo, Rio Arriba County; Vice-Chair, Mayor Javier Gonzales, City of Santa Fe; Secretary/Treasurer, Councilor Kristin Henderson, Los Alamos County; Mayor Alice Lucero, City of Española; Commissioner Henry Roybal, Santa Fe County; Councilor Darien Fernández, Town of Taos; Commissioner Mark Gallegos, Taos County; Representative Ron Lovato, Ohkay Owingeh; and Lt. Governor Ward Yeppa, Pueblo of Jemez. http://regionalcoalition.org.