Massachusetts sensor technology company competes for local help

A New England technology firm possessing patents for technology that can sense explosives is in the running for Sustainable Valley Technology Group's iGrant.

Marina Katayeva and Igor Levitsky of Emitech Inc., a Fall River, Mass., company founded in 2002, met with SVTG members this week to discuss how their hand-held and robotic technology could be advanced in Southern Oregon.

The iGrant — or Inspiration Grant — program is designed to recruit a research team or tech company to relocate to the Rogue Valley and work in partnership with Rogue Valley Microdevices. The winner will receive financial assistance, lab space at Rogue Valley Microdevices and other aid in bringing its products to market.

Levitsky, whose credits include post-doctoral chemistry research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the detector needs final engineering work before it goes to field testing. Armed with three patents that surpass technology presently marketed, Emitech could be supplying government agencies and private companies units within two years, Levitsky said.

"We've been searching for a modern facility and advanced equipment which we can use for development of our sensor elements," he said. "Oregon has a pretty good conditions for development of small businesses."

Emitech's primary focus is on the application of organic nanomaterials — on a molecular scale — and nanocomposites for the development of devices to detect and control light such as optical and conductive chemical sensors, hybrid solar cells and transparent conductive coating.

"We are a research and development company," said Katayeva, the company's president. "What we would like to do is license this technology, because the scientific part is practically done, and let somebody else do the manufacturing."

Heather Stafford, SVTG's executive director, said the organization is looking for operations compatible with the laboratory at Rogue Valley Microdevices plant, where continued development would take place.

Rather than completely relocating the firm, Stafford said, a team would be hired to advanced the project in the Rogue Valley.

Representatives for a second-finalist, Advanced MicroSensors, a Boston-area company, dealing with magnetic thin film recording heads, are due to interview with Sustainable Valley next week.

— Greg Stiles

Read more in Saturday's Mail Tribune.

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