Advance Nanotech has announced that its subsidiary, Owlstone Nanotech, has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I award of $99,080 from the National Science Foundation to develop an integrated field asymmetric ion mobility sensor for volatile organic compound (VOC) detection. The SBIR program is a highly competitive award program that provides support to small businesses to develop innovative technologies with significant commercial potential.
Many VOCs are either known or suspected to be hazardous to human health and are important constituents of both indoor and outdoor air pollution. The presence of VOCs can also be important early-warning signatures for fire prevention. For these reasons there is considerable interest in developing the ability to measure and monitor VOC levels in domestic and industrial environments but the technologies for detecting these compounds have lagged behind the market need. Owlstone will use the SBIR grant to employ the company's field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS) technology in the development of a small, low-cost sensor suitable for air quality monitoring and early warning fire detection.
"Owlstone Nanotech has developed the most advanced and effective technologies for detecting airborne chemical hazards," said Bret Bader, CEO of Owlstone. "This SBIR award will enable us to explore new applications of our technology -- ones that will have an enormous positive impact on human health and safety and represent a critical leap forward in our quest to bring our technology into industrial and consumer applications."
Commenting on the award, Tony Goncalves, CEO of Advance Nanotech said, "It is encouraging that the United States government has recognized the power and potential of Owlstone's chemical detection system. This award represents a validation of the science behind Owlstone's revolutionary technology and opens up an exciting spectrum of commercial opportunities for the company."
Owlstone Nanotech is part of Advance Nanotech's Homeland Security Division which includes nanotechnologies providing solutions across two application areas: CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear and Explosive) and Wireless Monitoring for cognitive awareness, triage and first response therapy. This division launched its first product in early 2006, reported revenues for the year and has a customer base across the defense and industrial process control industries.