Coralville-based Innovas Technologies has been awarded a $225,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for the research and development of an innovative micro-sensor system.

Innovas Technologies is working to develop mobile, submersible micro-sensors that will address fouling and failure in shell and tube heat exchangers. The new technology aims to increase efficiency and maximize heat exchanger operating life by detecting failures, capturing unusual vibration signatures, and providing speed and temperature readings inside an operating heat exchanger.

According to the company, the grant will lead to products designed to eliminate more than $40 billion in unnecessary waste in the power generation, oil and gas, industrial manufacturing and commercial cooling sectors.

"Shell and tube heat exchangers represent one of the unseen foundations of our economy," Innovas President Chuck Dirks stated in a press release. "We aim to eliminate tens of billions in unnecessary costs and greatly improve environmental health by developing transformational micro-sensor technology to continuously monitor the inside of an operating heat exchanger."

Innovas received the full amount of small business funding available from the NSF in Phase I; it is now also eligible to apply for a Phase II grant, worth up to $750,000.

The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $7 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.