The National Institutes of Health has awarded Nima a phase 2 fast track Small Business Innovation Research grant of more than $1 million to further fund the research and innovation of Nima’s gluten sensor. This NIH grant, from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, is the second round of funding for the portable gluten sensor to date. The phase 1 funding amount released in October 2015 was more than $210,000, bringing the total research grant for gluten to more than $1.2 million.

This phase 2 grant will assist in the further development of an accurate, fast and portable device for gluten detection in foods, which can be readily used by consumers on a regular basis.

Ultimately, we are planning to extend this platform to the detection of other major proteins. Earlier this year, NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases awarded Nima another phase 1 SBIR grant of more than $290,000 to aid in the development of a peanut sensor for consumers. Nima’s peanut sensor is currently in R&D and planned for release in 2017.

The SBIR program is one of the largest sources of early-stage capital for innovative small companies in the United States. It allows U.S.-owned and operated small businesses to engage in federal research and development that has a strong potential for commercialization. A key objective of this work is “translating promising technologies to the private sector through strategic public and private partnerships, so that life-saving innovations reach consumer markets.” The NIH SBIR program funds early stage small businesses that are seeking to commercialize innovative biomedical technologies. This competitive program helps small businesses participate in federal research and development, develop life-saving technologies and create jobs.