Cambrian Innovation Wins Three Prestigious Contracts from NIH and DOD for Breakthrough Biotechnologies

Funding supports company’s scalable solutions for national security, water scarcity and health priorities

BOSTON — October 23, 2014 — Cambrian Innovation, a water and bioenergy technology provider, today announced that it has won three prestigious contracts to further develop biotechnologies to dramatically improve water treatment, testing and remediation. The contracts, one from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the other two from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), validate Cambrian’s work to harness biotechnology to improve water management.

“Developing reliable renewable sources of water and effectively monitoring water quality are two of today’s greatest resource challenges,” said Cambrian Innovation CEO Matthew Silver. “These contracts enable Cambrian Innovation to apply our biotechnology expertise to provide tangible, strategic benefits to national security and human health.”

The NIH and DoD awarded Cambrian $450,000 for three Phase I contracts, bringing the total contract funding the company has received from the DoD and NIH to $1.6 million to date. Upon successful completion of Phase I, the company has the opportunity to receive an additional $3 million between 2015 and 2016.

The DOD has set ambitious net-zero and alternative energy goals for the Army and Navy to achieve 2020. By harnessing the renewable bioenergy released during the water treatment process, Cambrian’s packaged, bioelectrochemical technology reduces the energy intensity, installation costs, and footprint for wastewater treatment systems—expanding access to clean water and reliable, independent energy sources. Cambrian’s core technology has already been commercialized at industrial scale in the EcoVolt product and these contracts will help develop the next of generation systems capable of extracting even more clean electricity from wastewater at scale.

“Cambrian Innovation will design a microbial fuels cell system that will use some of the sewage generated on base to provide electricity for our sewage treatment plant,” said Terry Landreth, the supervisor of Robins Air Force Base’s Energy Management Office.  “We are eager to see how this technology can integrate into our operations here.”

The NIH awarded Cambrian the other two contracts for projects aimed at treating contamination in groundwater. The first will enable Cambrian to treat contamination from the petroleum industry while simultaneously generating renewable biogas for electricity generation. The second NIH contract will build on Cambrian’s existing sensor platform with a rapid-response, field capable arsenic sensor for groundwater. Current arsenic measurement technologies often require toxic substances; Cambrian’s method is based on biology and does not generate any hazardous waste.

The two NIH grants are classified as the BTEX Contaminated Groundwater Remediation by Bioelectrochemical Systems (Grant Number: R43ES024664) and the Rapid Field Testing Kit for Determining Arsenic Contamination in Groundwater (Grant Number: R43ES024628).

About Cambrian Innovation

Cambrian Innovation is a leader in developing biotechnology solutions that extract energy from water. Spun out of MIT in 2006, Cambrian has scaled and validated its proprietary bioelectric technology across several solutions with partners ranging from NASA and the Department of Defense to the National Science Foundation and Clos du Bois Winery. Cambrian’s flagship technology, EcoVolt, enables the food and beverage industry to cut water and energy costs by simultaneously treating wastewater and generating energy. Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and learn more on our Vimeo page.


Media Contact

Antenna Group for Cambrian Innovation

Sarah Mier, (415) 977-1947


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