WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) applauded $600,000 in Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant funding to support the New Mexico Laboratory Embedded Entrepreneurship Program (LEEP). The New Mexico LEEP is a proposed partnership between Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Central New Mexico Community College to utilize National Laboratories to train and develop the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.
In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, Udall, Heinrich, and Luján fought for job-creating investments for New Mexico’s National Laboratories to boost New Mexico’s economy. Luján also introduced the National Labs to Develop Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders Act to strengthen the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Laboratory Embedded Entrepreneurship Program.
“New Mexico is the proud home of federal research laboratories like Los Alamos National Laboratory where scientists and engineers create major innovations to contribute to our national security,” said Udall, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Just as northern New Mexico communities are good neighbors for LANL, it’s critical that our federal labs give back in return. That’s why I have fought to expand programs that link the resources of LANL with the vast potential of businesses, workers and communities in northern New Mexico to boost the local economy.”
“Our national labs have long been at the forefront of scientific and technological advances that fuel economic growth,” said Heinrich. “They are also major economic engines for New Mexico. I have worked for years to foster greater collaboration between Los Alamos, Sandia, and New Mexico’s colleges and universities to improve the pipeline for New Mexicans toward careers and other important opportunities at the labs. The LEEP program is a key way to help bridge the gap between our labs’ technology-innovation capacity and high-tech business growth in New Mexico.”
“Entrepreneurs and innovators play a crucial role in developing solutions for the challenges facing our communities. I am proud to announce this critical grant funding to boost the Laboratory Embedded Entrepreneurship Program and leverage our National Laboratories and institutions of higher learning to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and creators. I was proud to introduce legislation to strengthen this program and support the missions of our National Laboratories,” said Luján, Co-Chair of the National Labs Caucus.