The New Mexico State University PTRC began to pivot this year to more local and state outreach activities. While we continue to receive calls and emails from across the state, we found that our local participation numbers had decreased from the previous year, which may have to do with a lack of awareness of the program and the free tools we offer. As these things can happen, we received several invitations to speak in the Las Cruces area, in particular to the High Tech Consortium of Southern New Mexico and to Start-up Las Cruces, a local organization that assists new businesses. We also made contact with the head technology transfer agent at Arrowhead Center, which handles all of NMSU’s patent licensing. Collaboration with Arrowhead didn’t stop there. In January I met with the head of the American Indian Business Enterprise, a new federally funded organization at NMSU that assists inventors and start-ups from the American Indian community. New Mexico has 23 federally recognized tribes and we continue to seek outreach opportunities to this underrepresented population. To that end, I requested a meeting with NMSU’s director of the American Indian Program, and was invited to speak to tribal leaders at the Spring 2020 meeting between tribal governments. Unfortunately, that meeting was cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Going into the fall, I will continue to look for outreach opportunities to New Mexico tribes. Some of this work is being done in parallel with the PTRC representatives from the University of Utah. Together we seek to plan a USPTO training program in the four-corners region that will be open to tribal members of the four states, New Mexico Utah, Colorado, and Arizona.
-David Irvin, NMSU PTRC