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Innovate ABQ, and the push to create an innovation district in downtown Albuquerque, have picked up a new partner. PNM announced a $56,000 contribution to create the PNM Innovation Network in collaboration with the New Mexico Technology Council (NMTC). 

“The PNM Innovation Network will fit very well with the great work that others here today are doing,” PNM CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn said, in a gathering that included Mayor Richard Berry, UNM President Robert G. Frank and CNM President Kathy Winograd. “One of our core missions is supporting economic development and job growth in New Mexico. We believe that our success is tied to the success of those we serve, “ she said.”

The PNM Innovation Network is the latest organization to join the public/private efforts to grow a culture of innovation in the center of the city. The new program will include bringing speakers to Albuquerque to inspire entrepreneurs and share ideas through the PNM Innovation Speakers Series starting in July.

The Network hopes to build on the momentum started by UNM’s InnovateABQ project, the mayor’s efforts to create an Innovation Corridor downtown and CNM’s STEMulus training center. It will provide funding to help support existing programs and marketing efforts to promote the innovative ideas happening in Albuquerque.

The mayor and higher education leaders welcomed the effort and emphasized the importance of partnerships and collaboration. “This is all part of a shared vision within the community,” Frank said. “At UNM, we believe that through the types of partnerships that are emerging here, Albuquerque can become the seat of innovation for the entire state and New Mexico can become a beacon for the entire country.”

“A lot of the things that are going on right now are possible because we have leaders throughout our state and in our community who made a conscious decision to work together,” Berry said.

 “It is through these types of collaborations that we create opportunities for our citizens,” Winograd said.

The initiative will include a social media platform to share the stories of local innovators and money to support entrepreneurial and start-up activities.

“It is the backing and support from PNM that is creating this opportunity for us to have a leading role in creating an Albuquerque that fulfills the aspirations of our best and brightest,” said Lisa Adkins, director, New Mexico Tech Council.