Atlas has been selected alongside four companies that are developing technologies to help make indoor agriculture more sustainable. Monitoring nitrate will allow growers to fine-tune the water chemistry necessary for optimal plant growth while mitigating environmental harm.
We will evaluate our nitrate sensors in several use cases, analyze our sensor materials, and accelerate the deployment of our technology into indoor and outdoor agriculture locations.
Atlas is proud to have been selected to join the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) in 2020. The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) is the deep technology incubator of The University of Texas at Austin. For over 30 years, ATI has used a customized approach to support university and community entrepreneurs addressing the world’s most pressing problems by connecting startups with the expertise and resources they need to successfully commercialize their breakthrough innovations.
Atlas received a Phase 1 grant from the National Science Foundation's Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) program. We are proud to be one of the few that succeeded in receiving a grant to further our sensor development and continue on the path towards improving softener operations and beyond. STTR funding is being used to develop methods for manufacturing ion exchange fibers that are used in our sensors. Research is being performed at The University of Texas at El Paso and beta sensors will be deployed to industrial water treatment locations by Fall 2017.
Work is continuing and we have made good progress towards producing the initial hardness sensors. We are presently working towards a commercial product for industrial water treatment applications.
As of January 2017, Atlas moved out of The Hub of Human Innovation's downtown building in order to have access to wet lab space outside of The University of Texas at El Paso. This is a big leap forward for us and we are grateful for the help and assistance from Nancy (now at the MCA), Ernesto, and the staff at The Hub. The Hub has incubated Atlas since the student team won the 2014 Paso del Norte Venture Competition + Expo.
In 2017, the Medical Center of the Americas issued a call for proposals to its Proof of Concept Innovation Program. Atlas is proud to be one of the El Paso companies incubated and housed at the Cardwell Collaborative building. (News stories can be found here and here). Atlas used the grant funding to develop our hardness sensors and explore other concepts. Atlas also received a $20,000 prize from the MCA Foundation. Read more here. These funds were used to continue product testing, market research, and patent prosecution.
An unexpected benefit of being housed at the Cardwell Collaborative is that they have a water softener installed. We expect to be able to use this location as one of our first non-laboratory installations of our hardness sensor. More to come!
On February 21, 2018, Atlas Regeneration Technologies was selected to participate in MassChallenge Texas’ 2018 accelerator program. Atlas was one of over 520 startups to apply for the four-month accelerator located in Austin, Texas, and joined 84 other startups from across Texas and around the world.
Atlas’ proposed development of ion-exchange fibers is expected to have applications beyond hardness sensors. The same approach can be used to make ion-exchange fibers that can be employed for the detection of nitrogen ions (i.e. ammonia, nitrate) in devices similar to softeners to remove nitrate from drinking water. Atlas recently received 4th place in the EPA's InnoCentive Advanced Septic Nitrogen Sensor Challenge, which is an “ideation challenge” geared to spur innovation in sensing nitrogen in septic systems that can reduce environmental and health problems.