The University of New Mexico is not just a foremost educational institution for students in the community. It’s also a prime moneymaker for the state. A new study from the University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) shows how the university brings money into the New Mexico economy. According to the report, during the 2010 fiscal year, UNM operations accounted for $1.86 billion in expenditures and more than 25,000 jobs, making it the largest employer in the state. Total salaries and benefits were $1.03 billion.
“One of UNM’s greatest contributions is its role as a stable employer in New Mexico,” said Doleswar Bhandari, the author of the report. “This is especially important when the New Mexico economy is facing economic downturn.”
However, according to BBER Director Lee Reynis, the real economic benefits occurred as UNM was able to leverage state and local dollars, including a $302 million State appropriation, to attract dollars from outside the state. In Fiscal Year 2010, out-of-state revenues for research, patient care and other activities and from donations, totaled just over $900 million. The $620 million from these out-of-state sources that UNM spent in New Mexico on employee compensation and on goods and services supported directly and indirectly an estimated $1.1 billion in economic activity, almost half a billion in labor income and more than 11,100 jobs.
UNM Vice President for Research and Economic Development Julia Fulghum added, “This is a very tangible example of the benefits of UNM’s diverse research portfolio and the talents of our faculty. The impact of our research extends well beyond the boundaries of the UNM campus, improving every corner of the state through job creation and economic growth.”
The report, “Economic Impact of the University of New Mexico on the State of New Mexico,” is available on the UNM Vice President for Research website.
One clear example of such beneficial projects is the start-up companies that emerge because of UNM faculty research. The Science and Technology Center (STC) is a nonprofit corporation formed and owned entirely by UNM to protect and transfer faculty inventions to the commercial marketplace, and as BBER notes, a vital tool in the economic development of a high-tech industry in New Mexico.
BBER reports 16 currently active start-ups in New Mexico serviced by STC, which have already attracted over $12.4 million in venture capital money to the state since 2004.
In terms of jobs, the start-ups provided 88 full-time, part-time and contract employees at an average compensation of $66,225. STC.UNM President and CEO Lisa Kuuttila said, “Most of the companies surveyed were formed since 2006. Of the 16 studied, 12 are headquartered in New Mexico. Most are still in the startup phase, but some are generating significant revenue, with a combined $7 million in sales in 2009.”
“The amount of venture capital that has been attracted to the state in 2009 and sales in 2009 has yielded an indirect impact on the state of $3.3 million in additional economic activity,” according to the BBER report. That generated 25 full and part– time jobs resulting in $1.6 million in compensation.
The STC report by BBER titled, “UNM’s Science and Technology Corporation: The Impact of Start-up Companies,” and authored by Michael O’Donnell, is available on the OVPR website.