FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2015
Fort Collins, Colorado
OptiEnz Sensors awarded Colorado Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant for innovative clean technology
OptiEnz Sensors (www.optienzsensors.com
) was recently awarded a $150,000 Colorado Advanced Industries grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). OptiEnz’s innovative biosensor technology allows for continuous, in-place monitoring of organic chemical concentrations in water. The easy-to-use system is preferable to a remote laboratory analysis because it provides immediate results, comes at a fraction of the cost, and requires no pretreatment, expensive equipment, or skilled labor. This groundbreaking technology is highly useful in a variety of markets, including Environmental, for groundwater monitoring, site remediation, and water quality monitoring; Biotech for fermentation process monitoring, biofuels, and biopharma; Food and Beverage for evaluating food safety and process control; and Oil and Gas for produced water treatment and flowback water treatment in the fracking industry. OptiEnz is currently developing a variety of sensor tips that will measure different organic chemicals, including trichloroethene (TCE), a chemical commonly used as a dry cleaning solvent that is highly carcinogenic and is often disposed of by pouring into wells, causing it to infiltrate groundwater.
“OptiEnz will be using the funding from the Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant to support manufacturing our sensor tips here in Colorado,” said Steve Witt, CEO of OptiEnz.
OptiEnz’s biosensor technology was developed from more than a decade of research on enzymatic sensor tips by Dr. Ken Reardon, a professor and researcher at Colorado State University and the company’s founder and CTO. OptiEnz has previously been recognized for its achievements in the clean tech space, including being named a 2013 Cleantech Open Finalist and receiving a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
“The caliber of winners of the Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant, the number of jobs they are bringing to the state and the growth they are experiencing is further validation as to the importance of continuing the State support of these types of programs,” stated Patrice Barber, co-founder of Clean Tech Community. “We are delighted to see the Colorado Clean Tech Industry Association (CCIA) lead the way in working with the Office of Economic Development and International Trade to foster the growth of this grant for clean tech companies. We are extremely pleased to count Steve Witt, CEO of OptiEnz, with the other CEO's of clean tech companies as part of our membership. Providing events, introductions and programs designed to foster the growth and continued success of these clean tech companies is at the core of the Clean Tech Community's mission" explains Barber.
This year OEDIT awarded $1,773,938 for both Proof-of-Concept Grants (open to Colorado research universities, federal labs located in Colorado and other labs with valid technology transfer offices) and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants (open to companies commercializing innovative technologies to create viable products that meet a market need and can be created or manufactured in Colorado and exported globally). Colorado’s advanced industries are: energy and natural resources (including cleantech), infrastructure engineering, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, bioscience, electronics, and technology and information. The economic impact of these industries account for nearly 30 percent of Colorado’s wage earnings, 30 percent of total sales revenues across all industries in Colorado, and 35 percent of the Colorado’s total exports.
About OptiEnz Sensors
OptiEnz Sensors, LLC, is a biotech company that produces innovative biosensors for continuously measuring organic chemical concentrations in water and aqueous solutions. The OptiEnz sensing system is easy to use and provides accurate results at a fraction of laboratory analysis costs — no pretreatment, expensive equipment, or skilled labor required. The technology is based on 14 years of fundamental research on enzymatic sensor tips by the company’s founder and CTO, Dr. Ken Reardon.
About Clean Tech Community
Clean Tech Community, a Colorado based association celebrating its one-year anniversary, connects emerging Clean Technology companies to the resources, funding and network they need as they take products from pilot to production. CTC collaborates with a wide range of incubators and accelerators with a focus on Clean Technology. CTC’s primary collaboration is with Clean Tech Open to provide monthly events, cross promotion, mentors, judges, and investor resources that are invited to serve in the accelerator roles of CTO for the 3-4 months they are needed there.