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Lake Linden, MI, United States

Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 164.48K | Year: 2010

This SBIR Phase I project will produce 1,2- propanediol (propylene glycol) from biodiesel byproduct glycerol using a synthetic biology approach in a Pichia pastoris as cell factory. This compound has wide scope in industries from fuel additive to de-icing agent.

The broader/commercial impact of the project will be the application of biotechnology to the solution of environmental problems. The market opportunity for the output from this project is broad. In current practice, the transesterification of plant liquids generates crude glycerol as a byproduct and this byproduct could be an additional raw substrate for many value-added compounds and production of 1, 2-propanediol.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 225.00K | Year: 2014

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to make chemistry more accessible by developing a rugged, compact, LED-based photometer that communicates data to other devices via Bluetooth. The photometer and data processing functions will be designed to work with the company?s simplified test kits for Green Analytical Chemistry. The photometer will be sold at just above cost, estimated at $200, because it enhances the utility and value of company?s easy to use test kits. The business model is inkjet printer (the photometer), with test kits as the cartridges. The product development focuses on simplified test kits based on recombinant enzymes and no hazardous reagents. These kits enable unskilled operators to obtain actionable data. The initial target market is the Technical Service Providers who advise agricultural producers on fertilizer application decisions, giving them a new value-added service to offer. This project will produce a tool for enabling ?citizen science?. Technical tools in the hands of many people can benefit scientific understanding and stewardship of the environment. This Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase I project integrates recombinant protein technology with advances in LED-based photonics and the power of portable computational devices. The company was founded in 1993 to commercialize its founder?s basic research into enzyme structure and function, concentrating on the plant enzyme Nitrate Reductase (NaR). It now develops and manufactures recombinant enzyme reagents and test kits for green analytical chemistry, replacing heavy metals and concentrated acids with environmentally benign proteins. The company?s AtNaR is now a US EPA alternative standard method for nitrate analysis. These simplified test kits are designed for onsite use by unskilled users. The new enzyme-based kit for measuring phosphate content in soils yields results in the UV (260 nm) and requires a photometer, but there is no suitable device on the market (assay volume is one milliliter). The customers in the agriculture sector need new technology for soil testing to optimize fertilizer applications, decrease wasting and damaging runoff while maintaining high yields. They need data that that is compatible with commercial agriculture software packages, including GPS location and sample identification. The photometer will read two wavelengths, 540nm for nitrate and 260nm for phosphate, send results in the users? preferred measurement unit.


Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 346.00K | Year: 2007

NECi, The Nitrate Elimination Company, Inc., is dedicated to the application of enzyme technologies to the solution of environmental problems. NECi has developed a line of nitrate test kits for agriculture (Ag-NTKs) that provide reliable, semi-quantitative information on nitrate content of soil, runoff, standing crops, and silage samples. The basic method, nitrate detection based in the enzyme nitrate reductase, and the test kits themselves have undergone validation studies at USDA, USGS, and NRCS labs. NECi has also been engaged in development of new forms of nitrate reductase, and production of these proteins in quantity in the yeast protein expression system Pichia pastoris. New developments in biosensor research have encouraged NECi to increase investment of resources in biosensor research. Specifically, researchers have described a simple and inexpensive method to remove the oxygen interference that can complicate detection of the signal from reduction reactions. This enables simplified sensor design and makes it possible to envision devices that agricultural producers and their technical service providers can afford. NECi proposes to produce a prototype Nitrate Biosensor with built-in ease of use and computerized handling and storage of results. The NECi Nitrate Biosensor design will be similar to a blood glucose meter where the electronic device is battery operated and testing is done with disposable electrodes. The availability of simple, affordable, and reliable devices for detection and monitoring of nitrate will assist the agricultural community to utilize nitrogenous inputs more effectively, benefiting farm economics as well as the rural environment.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 364.30K | Year: 2001

N/A


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 225.00K | Year: 2014

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to make chemistry more accessible by developing a rugged, compact, LED-based photometer that communicates data to other devices via Bluetooth. The photometer and data processing functions will be designed to work with the company?s simplified test kits for Green Analytical Chemistry. The photometer will be sold at just above cost, estimated at $200, because it enhances the utility and value of company?s easy to use test kits. The business model is inkjet printer (the photometer), with test kits as the cartridges. The product development focuses on simplified test kits based on recombinant enzymes and no hazardous reagents. These kits enable unskilled operators to obtain actionable data. The initial target market is the Technical Service Providers who advise agricultural producers on fertilizer application decisions, giving them a new value-added service to offer. This project will produce a tool for enabling ?citizen science?. Technical tools in the hands of many people can benefit scientific understanding and stewardship of the environment.

This Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase I project integrates recombinant protein technology with advances in LED-based photonics and the power of portable computational devices. The company was founded in 1993 to commercialize its founder?s basic research into enzyme structure and function, concentrating on the plant enzyme Nitrate Reductase (NaR). It now develops and manufactures recombinant enzyme reagents and test kits for green analytical chemistry, replacing heavy metals and concentrated acids with environmentally benign proteins. The company?s AtNaR is now a US EPA alternative standard method for nitrate analysis. These simplified test kits are designed for onsite use by unskilled users. The new enzyme-based kit for measuring phosphate content in soils yields results in the UV (260 nm) and requires a photometer, but there is no suitable device on the market (assay volume is one milliliter). The customers in the agriculture sector need new technology for soil testing to optimize fertilizer applications, decrease wasting and damaging runoff while maintaining high yields. They need data that that is compatible with commercial agriculture software packages, including GPS location and sample identification. The photometer will read two wavelengths, 540nm for nitrate and 260nm for phosphate, send results in the users? preferred measurement unit.

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