The funding is the second SBIR grant that the EPA has given to Vista Photonics, coming in the program’s phase II. The company was only one of nine businesses to receive further funding for their projects. According to Vista Photonics’ plans, the air pollution monitor will be inexpensive and high performance, allowing users to easily gauge the presence of ammonia, which can cause temporary blindness, eye damage, and skin and respiratory irritation and, with prolonged exposure, serious lung damage and death.
“We’ve given companies the ability to take their ideas and technology from the laboratory to the market place,” EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry said. “The innovative technology provides cutting-edge solutions to continuing environmental concerns, and help create good-paying local jobs.”
The EPA joins 10 other federal agencies in the SBIR program, which is open to for-profit American businesses with fewer than 500 employees. The program was created in 1982 and allows small businesses to play a larger role in federal research and development.