In 2003, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) signed on as a “Bronze” Space Alliance Partner with SATOP, committing a donation of up to 250 man-hours per year. Since then, SNL has enhanced small businesses’ capabilities throughout New Mexico, allowing them to grow and become more viable.

SATOP works alongside SNL’s Small Business Assistance Program, which enhances the state’s economy while helping small companies, particularly in rural areas. SNL’s core vision, “Helping Our Nation Secure a Peaceful and Free World Through Technology,” is achieved through the alliance with SATOP.

“SNL and SATOP have a positive synergistic relationship,” said Mariann Johnston, SNL Small Business Assistance Program Manager.

Most recently, SNL worked on a Request for Technical Assistance (RTA) for InfraSur, LLC, a small business that provides engineering and technical services to clients internationally, as well as identifies and develops innovative technologies for commercialization. Through experimentation and literature/vendor analysis over a period of several months, SNL helped develop new materials for use in a photocatalytic process for water-waste remediation, especially with regard to the electron donor that must be used in determining which heavy metals can be removed by the process. This molecule has been shown, in preliminary tests, to be effective and significantly more stable than the molecule tested originally. This relatively stable catalyst will, at a minimum, support a more cost-effective product development program for InfraSur.

Johnston says that SNL has connected with a greater number and variety of businesses as an Alliance Partner, adding that, “Working with SATOP has increased the depth and breadth of the technical assistance SNL provides within New Mexico.”