NEW YORK, NY /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Advance Nanotech, Inc., (BULLETIN BOARD: AVNA), announced that its Owlstone Nanotech Inc. subsidiary has been selected as one of four finalists for the 2008 Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award, the UK's premier award for innovation in engineering. HRH the Duke of Edinburgh will present a 50,000 pounds Sterling prize and the gold award medal to the winner of this year's competition at the Academy Awards Dinner in London on June 9th, 2008. The MacRobert award recognizes the successful development of innovative ideas in engineering. The academy seeks to demonstrate the importance of engineering and the role of engineers and scientists in contribution to national prosperity and internal prestige.
"Our technology enables unprecedented miniaturization of sensors with superior analytical capability, the ability to be programmed and reprogrammed to detect a wide range of substances, and high selectivity and sensitivity," commented Andrew Koehl, founder of Owlstone and original inventor of its core technology. "Our commercial opportunity is enormous given the need for new and innovative deployment scenarios in chemical detection for homeland security, industrial process control, environmental and healthcare markets. We are deeply honored to be chosen as a finalist candidate for the prestigious MacRobert Award and are proud to be recognized among the three highly regarded companies that have also achieved 2008 finalist status, The Automation Partnership, Johnson Matthey, and Touch Bionics."
Owlstone has successfully developed a silicon chip that can detect chemicals in the ambient air. What once required a large enclosure and connected apparatus due to the sheer size of conventional sensors has been reduced down to a dime sized silicon chip that can detect a wide variety of chemicals in real time from virtually any location. The system can then be connected to a wireless communication system to send back real-time results to a command station. Owlstone's proprietary FAIMS technology offers the flexibility to provide rapid alerts and detailed sample analysis with reduced flow and improved ion drive over current conventional technology. The performances of existing systems, which largely use conventional Ion Mobility Spectrometry, worsen dramatically as they are reduced in size. By contrast, the Owlstone FAIMS solution has improved sensitivity, improved selectivity at reduced power as it is miniaturized. The small size of the Owlstone sensor enables a highly integrated system with the necessary electronic and mechanical components squeezed into a compact footprint. Micro and nano-fabrication techniques enable the sensor to be manufactured in a massively parallel fashion, achieving small form factor, economy of scale and reduced unit cost. Unlike alternate miniature detectors, Owlstone's technology does not rely on exotic materials, custom engineered for each application, which often degrade over time. The Owlstone technology is easily customized to each application through software updates and can be dynamically reprogrammed for new chemicals even after deployment. Use of chemically inert materials ensures a long operational and storage life.
The Owlstone detector was conceived by Andrew Koehl who began the development of Owlstone's fundamental technology in 2001 at Caltech (California Institute of Technology) with further development at Cambridge University, England. Mr. Koehl is the inventor of the microchip spectrometer technology, the core of the Owlstone technology. That technology was furthered as he was later joined by Paul Boyle, a researcher in the Microsystems and Nanotech group at Cambridge University responsible for the design and development of the silicon-opto hybrid devices for next generation telecom systems, and David Ruiz-Alonso, a Cambridge University PhD in superconductor modeling.
About Advance Nanotech
Advance Nanotech is in the process of restructuring its business and becoming an operating company focused on next generation chemical and biological detection. Its proprietary technologies, developed at Cambridge University, are uniquely silicon-based, thereby offering miniaturization and network capability with wireless opportunities. The advantages of this protocol permits for real-time precision analytics leading to potential prevention of ensuing issues, concerns and dangers.
About Owlstone Nanotech
Owlstone Nanotech, Inc. is a majority-owned subsidiary of Advance Nanotech and is a pioneer in the commercialization of nanotechnology-based chemical detection products. The Owlstone Detector is a revolutionary dime-sized sensor that can be programmed to detect a wide range of chemical agents that may be present in extremely small quantities. Using leading-edge micro- and nano-fabrication techniques, Owlstone has created a complete chemical detection system that is significantly smaller and can be produced more cost effectively than existing technology. There are numerous applications—across industries from security and defense to industrial process, air quality control and healthcare—that depend on the rapid, accurate detection and measurement of chemical compounds. Owlstone works with market leaders within these industries to integrate the detector into next generation chemical sensing products and solutions. Owlstone's technology offers a unique combination of benefits, including: small size, low manufacturing costs, minimal power consumption, reduced false-positives, and a customizable platform.