Photo by Peter Jakubowski (Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Photo Services)
Advanced Chemical Systems Inc. (ACS) of Milwaukee, WI is innovating water pollutant detection with their cutting edge Optical Sensory Array Technology (OSAT). Dr. Peter Geissinger developed the patented technology at the University Milwaukee, and together with ACS, they are using propagating light emissions as a means to detect trace metals. Rather than sending off water samples to a lab, which can take days with contaminants still present, the sensory technology takes only minutes.
According to Tom Dougherty, president of ACS, the OSAT technology increases the efficiency of testing and saves chemical costs. “If the device senses that we are at five parts per million of zinc, then we use less chemicals and we’re able to save on the return investment because there are savings in the chemistry needed,” said Dougherty. “I believe that this could really change our industry.”
ACS has advanced the commercialization of their technology through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants administered through the National Science Foundation (NSF). In 2011, they were awarded a Phase I grant of more than $150,000, and recently they submitted a $500K Phase II SBIR proposal. With the funding from Phase I, ACS was able to prove their science with Dr. Geissinger as well as hire CTC Service Provider and commercialization expert, Steve Royko, to help with the Phase II grant writing process.
ACS credits their SBIR funding success to the long-standing relationship they have had with CTC Consultant Dave Linz. “Without Dave’s assistance we would not have received the Phase I grant and gotten to Phase II,” said Dougherty.
While ACS awaits word on their Phase II SBIR submission, they have recently advanced to the second round of the Governor’s Business Plan competition along with 50 other firms statewide. Dougherty strongly recommends using a resource like the CTC in order to be successful in applying for grants, and says without hesitation, “I would grade my experience with [the CTC] an A.”