Success Story

New Mexico Small Business Assistance (NMSBA) Program - SAVSU Technologies

NMSBA assists for-profit small businesses in New Mexico with access to experts at Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory. These experts help businesses gain knowledge and solve challenges utilizing the labs’ cutting-edge technologies. The assistance is provided at no cost to the businesses.

NMSBA was created in 2000 by the New Mexico State Legislature. The law provides the labs with a Small Business Tax Credit to bring their technologies and expertise to small businesses in New Mexico. The program promotes economic development with an emphasis on rural areas. Since the inception of NMSBA, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories have assisted 2,195 businesses and provided $39 million of technical assistance to small businesses in all 33 counties of New Mexico. The program has helped create or retain 3,510 jobs. Under the program, the labs are committed to solving small businesses’ critical challenges with National Laboratory expertise and resources; influencing New Mexico business development by building capacity, capabilities, and competencies; and acting as an advocate for small businesses through an entrepreneurial culture.

NMSBA has received three awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC):

  • 2014 Mid-Continent Region Award for Outstanding State and Local Government Collaboration
  • 2011 National Award for State and Local Economic Development
  • 2009 Mid-Continent Region Award for Outstanding Regional Partnership

NMSBA Participant Example: SAVSU Technologies Protects Vaccines in Developing Countries

The company SAVSU, which stands for “State of the Art Vaccine Storage Unit,” is clear about its mission. Inexpensive vaccines can save millions of lives, yet 14–35 percent of vaccines worldwide are exposed to freezing conditions that compromise or destroy them.

Bruce McCormick of SAVSU designed the NanoQ container to store vaccines at proper temperatures. The container uses advances in materials science, including NASA technology to overcome the freezing potential of ice while harnessing its energy storage capacity. SAVSU also began development of a solar thermal icemaker for the NanoQ, attempting to overcome the limited success of previous attempts by redesigning the technology for small volumes of ice.

Through NMSBA, McCormick teamed with Eric Coker and Brian Iverson of Sandia National Laboratories to undertake a massive review of technology relating to solar thermal ice makers, calculate optimal thermal performance criteria, and create a design basis to apply solar thermal ice making capability to the SAVSU cooler.