mPower Technology Logo


Rep. Stansbury Highlights STEM Jobs and Opportunities for New Mexico in Newly Passed Bill

Melanie Stansbury Logo

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Today, U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury (N.M.-01) held a virtual press conference with representatives from Build with Robots, RS21, and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute. During the press conference, Rep. Stansbury highlighted the science and technology investments and economic benefits of the Partnerships for Energy Security and Innovation Act, a bill she passed as an amendment to the America COMPETES Act.

The bill will boost New Mexico’s STEM economy by facilitating technology transfer between national labs, private startups, and local colleges and universities. The press conference followed a briefing from Sandia National Laboratory’s Office of Technology Transfer to discuss current clean energy innovations and partnerships ripe for technology transfer. Technology transfer from Sandia National Laboratories alone created over $95 billion in economic impact from 2000 to 2020, and supported about 21,000 jobs per year.  

Rep. Stansbury was joined by Dr. Milford Muskett from the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI), who highlighted educational partnerships between SIPI students and National Labs. Technology startup representatives included Kameron Baumgardner, Chief Technology Officer of RS21, Charles Rath, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of RS21, and Matthew Ennis, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of Build With Robots. 

“New Mexico is a science and technology powerhouse—with massive opportunities to grow our economy and unleash the power of science and technology to tackle our biggest challenges in clean energy, climate, and a building a more sustainable and resilient economy,” said Rep. Stansbury. “Our bipartisan Partnerships for Energy Security and Innovation Act, which passed the House as part of the America COMPETES Act, will help to foster partnerships with our National Labs, local colleges and universities, and local businesses to bring new innovations, jobs, and opportunities to our communities. These partnerships, along with the investments in the America COMPETES Act, are essential to building the economy of the future and putting our communities in the driver’s seat.” 

“We are excited to be a part of the rapidly expanding innovation ecosystem in New Mexico for next-generation space systems,” said Murat Okandan, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of mPower. “Our DragonSCALES technology was originally developed at Sandia and further supported by the technology maturation and commercialization programs.  The proposed legislation will further accelerate the development and deployment of our technology and products for a rapidly expanding set of opportunities.”

“Based on the support that we get from programs like those that are supported by this legislation, RS21 has been able to do $30 million of work in the last seven years solving some of the most complex challenges that we think that that the world is currently facing,” said Kameron Baumgardner, Chief Technology Officer of RS21. “We’ve been able to, to help understand how AI and machine learning can help fight cancer, how we can better understand the potential impacts of natural disasters and how we can keep our communities safe and in ways that are ethical and transparent while creating jobs in New Mexico.”

“New Mexicans benefit by being home to Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs in many ways, but the real force multiplier is when there is intellectual exchange through technology transfer to New Mexican companies because this enables economic growth by creating something new.” said Matthew Ennis, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of Build With Robots. “This leads directly to more good-paying jobs for New Mexicans, engineered by New Mexicans. Build With Robots is looking forward to further collaboration with our National Labs and thanks Representative Stansbury for her leadership on this critical legislation.” 

“SIPI’s vision is to prepare and guide future Native professionals and leaders by using science and technology to teach, inspire, and discover,” said Dr. Milford Muskett, Department Chair of Advanced Technical Education at the Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute. “We have developed and nurtured partnerships with the Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratory and Los Alamos National laboratory which provides our native students with internships, research opportunities, and access to talented engineers and scientists. SIPI strives to provide technical and career training for Native students in clean and renewable energy and other STEM related disciplines.” 

The Partnerships for Energy Security and Innovation Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the American COMPETES Act on February 4, will create a nonprofit foundation associated with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to foster research and innovation in partnership with higher education institutions and private sector partners in alignment with DOE’s mission, focused on clean energy and the environment. The foundation’s mission would also focus on bringing energy innovations to markets serving rural and underserved communities, partner with students with backgrounds underrepresented in STEM fields, and facilitate the commercialization of technologies like next-generation clean energy technologies. 

The America COMPETES Act will make transformational investments in research, innovation, and manufacturing through the acceleration of U.S. production of materials and critical semiconductor chips, provisions to strengthen the supply chain to make more goods in America, turbocharge the nation’s research capacity to lead the technologies of the future, and advance global competitiveness. The package also supports strong labor and human rights standards, among other key provisions. The transformative package of science and technology innovation legislation is the result of bipartisan, cross-committee efforts – its major components include many bills that have already passed the House by strong bipartisan votes or have bipartisan cosponsors.