government role in basic research,” she said, “it is often difficult for people to understand the subtle difficulties of getting that research to the marketplace.”
Another way the federal government can help propel research results into the marketplace is by investing in science parks. She said that Senator Bingaman has been a champion of legislation for science parks, and that Sandia National Laboratories has become a model federal effort in promoting the public-private relationships of successful parks.
Sandia National Laboratories
Dr. Stulen, chief technology officer at Sandia, began by noting that Sandia Science and Technology Park has many features in common with Minatec in France, including deep roots in nuclear engineering research. Sandia National Laboratories were established in New Mexico in the late 1940s, under President Truman, to develop nuclear weapons. While Sandia remains a national security laboratory, its mission has broadened into other national security arenas, including energy and microelectronics, which rest on a broad base of science, technology, and engineering research. Dr. Stulen said that it is this juxtaposition of science and engineering that distinguishes Sandia from other national labs in the country.
The new Sandia Science and Technology Park has grown out of that research base and sits at the opposite end of an “innovation corridor” from the laboratories. Between them is the multi-building complex of MESA, Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications. This corridor, which represents a $500 million investment by the Department of Energy (DOE), resembles Minatec in that it extends from inside the classified area to a nonclassified region. And like virtually all the parks described in the symposium, said Dr. Stulen, Sandia’s access to special people, knowledge, capabilities, and equipment provides a strong attractor for industry.
For example, Sandia has made a large investment in high-performance computing (HPC). Its Red Storm HPC Facility is one of the most powerful in the world. Adjacent to several MESA buildings, it offers valuable capacity for modeling and simulation. MESA also has a microelectronics fabrication facility and capabilities to do mixed-mode fabrication using both silicon, III-V compounds such as GaAs, and microsystems, said Dr. Stulen, providing the ability to