FREDsense Technologies is a water instrumentation company building fast, portable and incredibly easy to use chemical sensors using the power of biology. FREDsense rivals analytical lab data, requires no sample preparation and represents a method for scalable analysis. With traction in the wastewater remediation, environmental consulting, and utilities markets, FREDsense is a disruptive technology changing how we think about what's in our water.
FRED combines an engineered bacterial sensor with an electrochemical output to measure specific contaminants in water. The sensor is comprised of two parts: (1) Single-use cartridges with the components needed for analysis, and (2) Portable detector that measures/transmits the data. When exposed to a sample, FRED produces a quantifiable electrical signal that measures how much of the compound is present. Cartridges are filled with water samples and placed into the detector, which in under an hour, completes analysis and then reports the compound concentration either wirelessly or through USB. Currently we have validated FRED for arsenic through comparison studies with third-party labs and a first field pilot with a major Latin American company. Further field pilots and ETV/EPA 3rd party verification testing is planned throughout 2017.
FRED is faster and more sensitive than existing solutions, achieving 1 ppb detection on-site; avoiding the need to ship samples and wait days for results. The sensor is easy to use with no pretreatment and is designed using a modular platform that can be customized for most compounds in water industries. Cartridges will be sold as packs for each contaminant, and all cartridges will be compatible with the same detector, allowing a razor-blade model where customers purchase sets of disposable cartridges over time and use the same detector. FRED can also be adapted in future to allow for real-time, automated monitoring in the field.
Water quality analysis is over a $3 billion global opportunity growing by more than 7% each year. It can be divided into physical (pH, temperature, etc.), chemical (arsenic, heavy metals, etc.) and biological sensors (bacteria). Today, physical sensors dominate the marketplace. While they are cheap, portable and capable of real-time data transmission, chemical sensing largely relies on analytical lab analysis which takes significant time (5-10 business days) and high cost. Field technologies are often considered unreliable, difficult to use and can't be scaled past a few sample sites because of sample preparation. FREDsense alleviates these barriers to entry, making chemical analysis simple, streamlined and scalable for water quality providers. With numerous potential verticals, we have chosen to focus on waste water remediation as a target customer. With over 85 cubic km's of wastewater produced each year in the USA, remediation companies need fast testing to validate their results and often pay up to $2,000 per sample for full water analysis. There is a strong value proposition for a simple, reliable, and modular system to detect arsenic and numerous other parameters and we have found significant traction in this segment with over 10 companies requesting pilots through our website. Our competitors are field testing kits. We do not wish to compete directly against analytical labs but become a screening tool to validate the regulatory information produced by these organizations. Field kits are hard to use and often times human error prevents them from being reliable. FREDsense's simple one step addition model is a game-changer and we have validated this as a major pain point of our customers. A major barrier to market entry is regulations on water compliance data. We have worked with two US water districts to validate our sensor, and aim to work with early adopters to build case studies for EPA and Canadian compliance requirements.