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County partners with university, city on research and innovation district

Bernalillo County – The Bernalillo County Commission this evening approved $1 million to support the Innovate ABQ project to support the creation of new jobs through small business development, research and new ideas to move New Mexico’s economy forward.

The commission voted 4-0 to support Innovate ABQ, which is a partnership among local government, business, and education communities led by the University of New Mexico.

The project calls for developing an innovation center at Central and Broadway that will include a high-tech business incubator, live-work space, and an academy for entrepreneurs. The City of Albuquerque has committed $2 million to the project and other public and private sector partners have committed funding as well.

Tonight’s measure includes strong clawback provisions and requires that the funds be distributed on a cost-reimbursement basis, among other accountability measures.

The proposal was sponsored by Commissioners Lonnie Talbert and Maggie Hart Stebbins.

“Albuquerque is home to some of the best scientists and researchers in the world; a first-class university; many talented young entrepreneurs and established businesses looking for a change,” says Commissioner Lonnie Talbert. “We’re proud to support this partnership and to collaborate with the business community, the City of Albuquerque and the University of New Mexico on job creation.”

Hart Stebbins has long supported the creation of a technology district in central Albuquerque that would leverage the creative talent and research and development power of Sandia Science and Technology Park, the University of New Mexico Research Park and other partners into private sector jobs.

“Bernalillo County has incredible high-tech research institutions like UNM, Sandia National Laboratories, and KAFB that are generating groundbreaking ideas. This new innovation center can harness the amazing creative talent from throughout the region and create jobs here in this community,” Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins says.

The Bernalillo County Commission has focused on economic development over the last two years, producing real results on new job creation, approving incentives for a new Lowe’s customer contact center, a new 2 megawatt solar farm and other successful projects.