Foundation Instruments awarded $850,000 in federal funds to improve water quality, opens new headquarters in Collierville, TN

April 28, 2016 – Collierville, TN – Foundation Instruments, Inc. has opened its new headquarters in Collierville, TN. Foundation Instruments is a high-tech, small business spin-out from the University of Memphis that has commercialized U of M technology from the laboratory of Prof. Gary L. Emmert and Prof. Paul S. Simone, Jr. The technology developed by Emmert and Simone helps superintendents at drinking water treatment plants to improve treatment practices, reduce trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids in drinking water, and save money. Trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids are carcinogenic by-products of chlorination and are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The first grant awarded this year is a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This NSF SBIR Phase II grant ($750,000 over two years) is the second award towards development for an on-site, on-line and real-time system for haloacetic acids. The NSF SBIR Phase II grant was a follow-up to the NSF SBIR Phase I awarded in 2014 for $150,000. The second grant awarded is an SBIR from the United States Department of Agriculture ($100,000 over eight months) funding the evaluation of a mobile trihalomethanes laboratory cooperative to improve drinking water in rural communities. To date, Foundation Instruments has been awarded over $1,000,000 from state and federal programs to commercialize technologies developed at The University of Memphis. These awards and sales efforts by our distributors will put Foundation Instruments on a trajectory to hire multiple high-tech jobs in Collierville, TN over the next several years.

Professor Gary L. Emmert to present recent advances in THMs measurements and modeling

October 29, 2015
Tropicana Resort, Las Vegas NV
2015 CA-NV Section AWWA Fall Conference
Session 36A – Distribution System Water Quality, 9:00 AM
Technical Program Link

This upcoming Thursday (Oct. 29, 2015), Professor Gary L. Emmert will be presenting recent research demonstrating how drinking water utilities can use the THM Rapid Response system to measure individual and Total THMs concentrations save operating expenses. He will discuss optimization of powdered activated carbon use at the Lebanon, TN Water Treatment Plant and our subsequent efforts on using the THM Rapid Response to calibrate empirical models and predict Total THMs concentrations up to one year later, within 2 ppb of the THM-RR measured THMs concentrations.

The presentation will be given at the annual fall conference (AFC15) of the California and Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association.

Recent article on THMs measurments, calibrated models, and saving operating expenses

Professors Gary L. Emmert and Paul S. Simone Jr. with co-authors from The University of Memphis and The City of Lebanon (Lebanon, TN) have recently published a manuscript in Beverages that uses the THM Rapid Response system to calibrate empirical models. The calibrated empirical models can predict THMs concentrations to within 2 ppb of the measured THM concentrations up to one year later using common water quality parameters.

The THM-RR system provides a fully-automated, on-line and on-site system for determining individual and Total THMs concentrations to reduce chemical usage and save operating expenses. The THM-RR measurements and calibrated models can be used as parallel tools to improve process control and identify potential issues at the drinking water treatment plant.

Using Automated On-Site Monitoring to Calibrate Empirical Models of Trihalomethanes Concentrations in Drinking Water

National Science Foundation – Small Business Innovation Research grant

NSF-Logo

May 28, 2014 – Collierville, TN – Foundation Instruments, Inc. has been awarded a $150,000 National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research (NSF-SBIR) Phase 1 grant. The SBIR Phase 1 grant was awarded to develop a new device for measuring the concentrations of federally-regulated, carcinogenic chemicals produced during disinfection of drinking water at municipal water treatment plants.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was established in 1982. SBIR is a nationally competitive research program specifically for small businesses (<500 employees) and provides them an avenue for federal funds to conduct research and development and commercialize new ideas. Since 1982, only 39 SBIR Phase 1 awards have gone to companies in the West Tennessee region, with 54 total SBIR Phase 1 and Phase 2 awards from all federal SBIR agencies. This prestigious SBIR award to Foundation Instruments is the first SBIR to be awarded from the NSF to a company in West Tennessee.

Foundation Instruments NSF SBIR Press Release