U.S. Army partners with tech startup to develop portable biological reader


Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD — The United States Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (RDECOM ECBC) signed agreements on Jan. 23 with tech startup TrekReader to develop existing ECBC technology into a pocket-sized instrument that will provide Soldiers, first responders and even school nurses with the ability to detect dangerous biological and chemical substances.

Signed were a non-exclusive patent licensing agreement (PLA) that grants TrekReader the rights to use the VOCkit as the starting point for their product, and an associated collaborative research and development agreement (CRADA) that allows the parties to work together in the development of a new handheld universal reader.

From flu viruses to anthrax, TrekReader CEO Robert Baumgardner believes the VOCkit, a tool in the Army’s patent portfolio, has the potential to perform as a universal reader, allowing one mechanism to identify multiple biological threats cheaply, in minutes and at any location.

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