ALBUQUERQUE, N.M-Gary Seawright has a confession to make. "I'm probably an entrepreneur in scientist's clothing, and have been all along."
The experiences of the former virologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory demonstrate both the perils and pleasures of moving technological discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace. That subject was the topic of discussion at a congressional hearing and a two-day conference here.
Seawright left Los Alamos in 1984 to join fellow scientists Randy Brown, Jeremy Landt, Al Koelle and Paul Salazar in forming Amtech Corporation. The company, with a staff of 13, will manufacture electronic identification systems to keep track of trucks, railroad cars, ships and cattle. Its projected sales this year, its first, are $500,000, and Seawright foresees annual sales of $28 million within five years.
The technology behind the product was developed at the National Laboratory. "It was a classic spin-off," said Seawright, "one of the first...