Chemeleon Successfully Completes NSF Small Business Technology Transfer Project
Chemeleon, under their previous name of DrinkSavvy Inc., was awarded a Nation Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant on January 1st2018 (award #1746719). The project’s goal was to develop sensor-embedded "smart" drinkware (i.e., stirrers, straws and cups) to actively alert consumers prior to consumption of a "spiked" beverage, providing a proactive way to prevent drug-facilitated sexual assault. This sensor technology is based on "smart" molecularly imprinted color-changing nanomaterials that eliminate the need to run tedious sample preparation and analysis procedures using conventional laboratory instrumentation.
The team was able to develop prototypes that instantaneously changed color upon introduction of ketamine, one of the drugs used in the criminal commission of drug-facilitated sexual assault and robbery. Chemeleon’s CEO, Brendan Walker, said that “with this milestone technical achievement, Chemeleon is another step closer to enabling consumers to detect these drugs, on the spot, and prevent themselves from becoming the unwitting victims of sexual assault and robbery. Hopefully, we are also one step closer to eradicating this insidious crime as well.”
Chemeleon successfully completed all targeted milestones, ending Phase I of the NSF sponsored program in December 2018. The team looks to continue their collaborative efforts with Phase II of the NSF program in 2019, further developing the technology and purse scaling of their process in order to fully commercialize these products.
About the NSF STTR Program:
The NSF STTR program focuses on transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial potential and/or societal benefit. Unlike fundamental research, the NSF STTR program supports startups and small businesses in the creation of innovative, disruptive technologies, getting discoveries out of the lab and into the market.
The NSF STTR Program funds early or "seed" stage research and development. The program is designed to provide equity-free funding and entrepreneurial support at the earliest stages of company and technology development.