Environmental Monitoring

NEA Acquires Chemical-Detection Technology License

April 6, 2010

The company will commercialize a technique that functionalizes carbon nanotubes for the creation of devices that can detect minute quantities of environmentally sensitive substances.

RIVERSIDE, CA /Marketwire/ -- Nano Engineered Applications Inc. (NEA), a majority owned subsidiary of Avisio Inc., announced that the company has acquired an exclusive license to a patent-pending chemical detection technology from The University of California, Riverside (UCR). NEA will be a new start-up company located in Riverside, CA.

UCR's technology is based on a novel, cost-effective, and scalable fabrication technique that can functionalize carbon nanotubes with desired sensing materials for the creation of high-density devices that can detect minute quantities of environmentally sensitive substances.

The technology makes use of carbon nanotubes, tubular carbon molecules that resemble a rolled up sheet of graphite 100,000 times finer than a human hair. Named in 1991, carbon nanotubes have a large surface-to-volume ratio and unique electrical properties, which make them promising materials for the development of the next generation of chemical gas sensors.

"Our goal is to deliver airborne chemical substrate detection and identification systems with superior sensing performance by utilizing novel and cost-effective manufacturing techniques," said Amro Albanna, CEO of Nano Engineered Applications Inc. and Avisio, Inc. "We believe our chemical detection technology will enter the market as a disruptive technology, providing an array of customers with options not available today."

Funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense and developed by Nosang Myung, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, the technology addresses the key chemical and gas detection needs of a broad spectrum of industries, including commercial, industrial, security, and military.

"This is an example of a great success story and partnership," said Craig Sheward, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Technology Commercialization at UCR. "A local commercialization company (Avisio), funding a start-up company (NEA) that will be located in Riverside, based on UCR's intellectual property, all for the benefit of bringing the technology to market and assisting in the economic development of Riverside. We are fortunate to have a company such as Avisio willing to take a chance on a new technology that could be the next big breakthrough in detecting chemicals quickly and safely."

Eric Tonui, the licensing officer for this technology at UCR, said, "NEA has identified a significant underserved niche market in the chemical detection space with enormous profit potential. The company is poised to capture a first mover advantage in this space."

Nano Engineered Applications and UC Riverside conducted a demonstration of the technology at a March 31 signing ceremony, which was attended by UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy P. White, Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge, and executives from both NEA and Avisio.

About University of California, Riverside
The University of California, Riverside is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to inland southern California, the state, and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment of over 19,000 is expected to grow to 21,000 students by 2020. The campus is planning a medical school and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Graduate Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

About Nano Engineered Applications
Nano Engineered Applications Inc. is a majority owned subsidiary of Avisio, formed to commercialize patent-pending technology that uses nano- and micro-electromechanical systems to detect airborne chemicals.

About Avisio
Avisio Inc. is a publicly traded technology commercialization company, with a mission to unlock the value of high-potential assets and transform them into high-value businesses. Avisio creates a new majority-owned private subsidiary around each asset and supports each business with experienced management teams, best-of-breed commercialization processes and resources, and access to global capital sources.

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