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Boulder small business receives EPA research contract

Release Date: 3/10/2005
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      Denver -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Eltron Research, Inc., Boulder, Colo., received $70,000 from the Small Business Innovation Research contracts program. Eltron Research was chosen from a pool of 363 applicants across the country.

The Eltron research team will develop a portable, low-power biosensor to detect organophosphate and carbamate insecticides in water. The biological sensor will be designed to specifically detect these insecticides in water without significant dilution or reduction in the sensitivity of the detected chemicals. The sensor will be used for real-time, onsite monitoring of insecticides in fresh water and will offer a cost-effective solution for screening potentially contaminated sites.

Organophosphate and carbamate insecticides are used extensively in agricultural crop production. Runoff and leaching of unused or misapplied pesticides can result in water pollution as can chemical air emissions from spray drift. The growth of suburban areas, the rise of the lawn-care industry, and the development of new herbicides and insecticides have increased the use of pesticides. In addition, the professional application industry uses pesticides for lawn care, tree care, and of structural treatment.

The 22 million small businesses in the United States employ about 51 percent of the private work force and develop most of the country’s new technologies. Years ago, Congress recognized the need to strengthen the role of small businesses in federally funded research and development and passes a law creating the Small Business Innovation Research program for businesses with no more than 500 employees. EPA’s highly competitive SBIR program offers critical financial support to small businesses to develop the best, new, innovative technologies. EPA’s SBIR program focuses on important areas related to environmental protection, including clean air and water, hazardous and solid wastes, pollution prevention, remediation, and monitoring,. Recent issues include homeland security, clean-up technologies, and technology solutions for specific environmental needs.

To learn more about these research projects and EPA’s SBIR program, visit:

EPA relies on quality science as the basis for sound policy and decision-making. EPA’s laboratories, research centers, and grantees are building the scientific foundation needed to support the Agency’s mission to safeguard human health and the environment.