Innovate ABQ represents an unprecedented collaboration between educational systems, local and county government, and private enterprise in order to foster innovation and create job growth.
Nusenda Credit Union has committed $3 million to support Innovate ABQ, bringing private support to this effort. “This investment was made to improve the educational and economic opportunities for New Mexicans,” said Terry Laudick, President and CEO of Nusenda Credit Union. “A stronger, more viable community has a positive impact both for our members and everyone in the community, day in and day out.”
Innovate ABQ creates an environment where students, educators, entrepreneurs, community and business leaders come together, spurring creative collaboration and shortening the cycle of business development and job creation.
Albuquerque already has key elements required for a knowledge economy including UNM – a Tier One research university with an associated teaching and research hospital, national research laboratories, and government support. Nusenda Credit Union’s commitment represents strong support from the business community. Innovate ABQ will bring these key elements into close proximity to create an economic eco-system that will nurture creativity, spur entrepreneurship and encourage job growth.
This collaboration has created a geographically concentrated district in Albuquerque where the best minds in the state can readily access needed resources to make emerging concepts a business reality.
This district will help retain students and researchers in Albuquerque well beyond their tenure at UNM and facilitate the creation of new businesses and jobs. In turn, a flourishing city with improved innovation-based employment opportunities will help attract a new generation of high-caliber students, faculty, researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs.
Innovate ABQ is a core site that is a catalyst for this innovation district. Founded on a seven-acre former First Baptist Church site purchased by UNM in 2014, it is envisioned as a hub for research and innovation activities and programs throughout the region. Its plan is aimed at maximizing the opportunity to accommodate development for this purpose while also creating a place that is highly integrated with the city and capable of attracting tomorrow’s researchers and innovators.
In 2014, Albuquerque received a multi-year, investment by Living Cities, a collaborative of the nation’s 22 largest foundations, in support of Innovate ABQ with the goal of job creation and development of economic opportunities. Nusenda Credit Union’s commitment to Innovate ABQ played an integral part in receiving the Living Cities investment.
Nusenda’s Senior Vice President Robin Brule is a loaned executive to the City of Albquerque and serves as the Chief Strategist for this initiative, leads the partnership with Living Cities, and was also instrumental in a $1.2 million dollar grant given to Albuquerque by Bloomberg Philanthropies later in 2014.