EnvironSens is an NUS spin-off company that has licensed a water toxicity monitoring technology from NUS. This is being developed into the Integrated Intelligent Biosensor (I2BioS), a real time system that can continuously detect the illegal or accidental discharge of heavy metals into trade effluent wastewater (liquid waste discharged from business or industrial processes). The stand-alone unit collects and analyses toxic samples and the data is transmitted real-time via a telecommunications system. Should heavy metals be detected in the water, SMS alerts are sent to relevant personnel, ensuring that appropriate action can be made immediately to minimise downstream pollution.
EnvironSens was recently awarded a grant of SGD$2.4 million over the next three years, under PUB’s Competitive Research Program (Water). The company is working with local public agencies and companies dealing with wastewater treatment and water quality control. Currently 15 units have been deployed in Singapore, and EnvironSens aims to deploy a total of 100 units over the next two years. There is a significant market for this solution globally, as the I2BioS is superior to other heavy metal detection methods, being cost-effective, requiring minimal maintenance and with 24/7 real-time monitoring.
NUS Enterprise supported researchers Prof Ng How Yong and Dr Shailesh Kharkwal via a proof of concept grant in 2016 to further translate the technology. NUS Enterprise is currently incubating EnvironSens on campus and is also providing access to networks and fundraising assistance.