FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Sense Holdings, Inc., a developer of next-generation biometric and explosive detection security technologies for government and commercial security markets, today announced an important recent progress report under a research and development project with the U.S. government's Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop a new line of handheld multipurpose explosive and chemical detection device products for the global homeland security marketplace.
The recent advances include the development of a new generation of enhanced explosive detection chips with a range of enhanced capabilities, including increased detection sensitivity, increased flexibility and lower costs.
Sense is developing proprietary advanced Micro Electromechanical Sensor (MEMS) technology to create a line of low-cost, multi-use, handheld detection devices that security and law enforcement personnel can use to screen for concealed explosives, narcotics and chemical and biological threats. Sense is developing the technology under a joint research and development project with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), an advanced research facility managed through the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Oak Ridge-based scientific team working under the Sense Holdings agreement has designed a new generation of explosives detection chips that have shown improved sensory capabilities in ongoing experiments. These MEMS-chip components will be used to enable more sensitive detection of a variety of explosive materials that could be used in concealed bombs. The new-generation MEMS chips are also smaller than previous versions, with each chip now measuring 2mm x 3mm yet containing six sensors.
Other recent progress under Sense Holding's exclusive research and development agreement with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) includes the completion and installation of advanced laboratory and experimental equipment.
"Since executing our Company's CRADA research and development agreement with Oak Ridge in November, we have made exciting strides in our research facilities, scientific resources and the detection technology itself," said Dore Perler, CEO of Sense Holdings. "We believe this accelerated progress will enable us to move the explosive detection technology into the commercialization phase this year."
Sense has focused its initial efforts at Oak Ridge on developing for commercialization a powerful explosives detection technology, whose key advantages would include low cost, extremely high sensitivity and real-time operation while maintaining an almost complete immunity to false alarms. The technology is based on novel chips that would each fulfill different detection needs in the war on terror, including hidden bombs, unexploded ordnance and landmines.
"Additional research and development will enable us to develop more chips for testing, which will ultimately go into the final product," said Bruce Warmack, Principal Investigator on the Oak Ridge/Sense joint development project. "Our goal is to produce a range of different chip sets for different applications, with each chip set having perhaps a dozen or more sensors, each responsible for sniffing out, or sensing, different types of chemical, biological and narcotic agents."
A combination of U.S. agencies over the past decade has dedicated about $10 million to ORNL for the further development of this MEMS-based sensor technology, including the US Department of Energy.
"We feel confident that these tiny but highly robust sensors will be a valuable contribution to U.S. Customs, border patrol, and law enforcement for applications such as sniffing out cargo containers along with many other potential uses," Mr. Perler said. "Many advanced explosive detection technologies are quite expensive, but a key part of Sense's business strategy is to produce a next-generation detection device that will be extremely affordable, in order to put this safety and security technology within reach of all the agencies and organizations that need such products, in the United States and around the world."
As previously announced Sense also has expanded licensing and patent agreements with Oak Ridge and now owns all worldwide exclusive rights to the sale, manufacturing and distribution of this major new platform technology and all of its applications to detect explosives, chemical threats and narcotics. In addition, Sense has retained the right to acquire additional licensing rights for all biological sensing applications in the future.
ORNL is a research and development laboratory managed by UT- Battle for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with core competencies in basic and applied sciences that offer many opportunities for strong partnerships with U.S. industries and academic institutions such as: Biological, Environmental, and Social Sciences, Computational Sciences and Informatics Instrumentation, Sensors, and Controls; and Physical, Chemical, and Materials Sciences. Licenses grant intellectual property rights to companies capable of transforming government funded inventions into commercial products or processes. As part of its licensing program, ORNL may negotiate upfront fees and royalties in exchange for granting defined rights to the license.
Sense Holdings is a developer of next-generation biometric identification systems, and nanotechnology-based micro-sensor technologies for government, military and commercial security marketplaces. The company is online at www.senseme.com.
(Business Wire -- 01/25/06)