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Innovas Technologies LLC Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation
January 5, 2017
Innovas Technologies

Coralville, Iowa  – Innovas Technologies has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $225,000 to conduct research and development (R&D) work on developing mobile micro-sensors to identify degradation, fouling and enable remote failure detection and isolation in operating shell and tube heat exchangers.

Innovas Technologies will develop a mobile, submersible micro-sensor system designed to address fouling and failure in shell and tube heat exchangers.  This new technology aims to enable optimal efficiency and maximize heat exchanger operating life by continuously detecting tube failure, capturing unusual vibration signatures, and providing finite speed and temperature readings inside an operating heat exchanger.  The research conducted as a result of this grant will lead to products designed to eliminate more than $40B in unnecessary waste attributed to damaged or fouled heat exchangers.   Industries served will include power generation, oil and gas, industrial manufacturing, and commercial cooling.

“The National Science Foundation supports small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts,” said Barry Johnson, Director of the NSF’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships. “We hope that this seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”

“Shell and tube heat exchangers represent one of the unseen foundations of our economy,” said Chuck Dirks, President of Innovas Technologies. “We aim to eliminate tens of billions in unnecessary costs and greatly improve environmental health by developing transformational micro-sensor technology that continuously monitors conditions inside of an operating heat exchanger.”

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $225,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $750,000). Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.

NSF accepts Phase I proposals from small businesses twice annually in June and December. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process.

To learn more about the NSF SBIR/STTR program, visit:

About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs: The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards nearly $190 million annually to startups and small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. The non-dilutive grants support research and development (R&D) across almost all areas of science and technology helping companies de-risk technology for commercial success. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $7 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.