New Mexico research institutions to sign Inter-Institutional Agreement

February 24, 2005

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Seven New Mexico research institutions will join together this week to sign the Inter-Institutional Agreement, a contract that allows bundling of patents for economic development.

The institutions that plan to sign the agreement on Friday, Feb. 25, include Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Science and Technology Corporation (STC) at the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, The MIND Institute, and the National Center for Genome Resources. The agreement is also designed for other research organizations to become signatories.

Members of the media are invited to attend the public signing of the Inter-Institutional Agreement scheduled for Friday, Feb. 25, at 10 a.m. in the Rotunda of the State Capitol. U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson are scheduled to participate in the event.

The agreement is an experiment designed to provide rapid response and flexibility so that when commercialization opportunities arise, these institutions can quickly capitalize on each opportunity rather than spending time negotiating contracts. This will be accomplished by allowing each institution to identify specific patents that are appropriate for this agreement and are available for licensing.

Selected patents can then be included in a bundle of patents, along with those from other institutions, and licensed to interested companies. The licensing will be handled by one institution identified by all the institutions that have patents in the specific patent bundle.

"The flexibility and capability of this agreement give it great power and the potential to create both economic benefits for the region and technological advances that will strengthen the U.S.," says Paul Smith, the licensing executive who negotiated the agreement for Sandia. "Sandia supports economic development, and this agreement will help strengthen the Technology Research Collaborative now forming in New Mexico."

Allen Morris, the licensing executive from LANL who negotiated the agreement, says this Inter-Institutional Agreement, which was negotiated and executed between New Mexico universities, research institutions, and national laboratories, is a symbol of the cooperation between TRC members.

"This agreement will be used as a tool by TRC members to foster the growth of high tech industries within New Mexico," says Morris. "LANL is committed to being a good neighbor in northern New Mexico and is helping to support economic growth in our region."

"The agreement will allow a company to easily access patents from a number of New Mexico research organizations and have one party represent these institutions in the transaction," says Lisa Kuuttila, CEO and President of STC, who negotiated the agreement on behalf of STC. "This reduces the barriers considerably."

This News Release was prepared by the following organizations:

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by the University of California for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the U.S. Department of Energy and works in partnership with NNSA's Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories to support NNSA in its mission.

The Science and Technology Corporation is a nonprofit corporation owned by the University of New Mexico to create commercial opportunities for faculty research resulting in benefits to the university, to the researchers, and to the state of New Mexico.

The TRC was formed in May 2003 by a memorandum of understanding signed by the member research institutions in the presence of the New Mexico congressional delegation and the governor. Its mission is to collaborate on the acceleration of new technology business formations and expansions that will benefit the research programs of TRC members, entrepreneurs, industry, investors, and the state of New Mexico.
-end-
Sandia media contact: Michael Padilla, mjpadil@sandia.gov, 505-342-2336

LANL media contact: Kevin Roark, knroark@lanl.gov, 505-665-9202

UNM media contact: Susan McKinsey, mckinsey@unm.edu, 505-277-1989

TVC media contact: Toni Balzano, toni.m.balzano@lmco.com, 505-843-4221

Sandia National Laboratories' World Wide Web home page is located at http://www.sandia.gov. Sandia news releases, news tips, science photo gallery, and periodicals can be found at the News Center button.

DOE/Sandia National Laboratories

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