Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. - Success Story: Blue Sources & Bluegill, a Win for Tech Transfer

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FITCI company Blue Sources is on a mission to protect drinking water and the environment with the help of bluegill fish.

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“This award shows how government and private industry can work successfully together. We are proud to carry the torch because this system has such a broad value. Clean, safe water is critical to everybody.” - Terry Collins, Co-founder & CEO, Blue Sources

On April 24th, the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) will honor Blue Sources and their project partner, the U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research (USACEHR), with an award for their cooperative effort in “Exemplary Retransfer of Aquatic Biomonitor Through Combined In-Licensing/Out-Licensing.”

Blue Sources, a veteran-owned company located at the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI) on Metropolitan Court, is on a mission to protect drinking water and the environment with the help of the humble bluegill fish.

Serving water and wastewater treatment facilities, Blue Sources technology detects toxic chemicals in water by monitoring the naturally-occurring electric field emitted by live bluegills while breathing water. The fish act like a canary in a coal mine.

The core technology originated in an army lab nearly 2 decades ago. In 2015, Blue Sources acquired an exclusive patent license from the USACEHR as part of a technology transfer initiative.

The FLC is a formally chartered, nationwide network of over 300 federal laboratories, agencies, and research centers. A total of 30 awards will be presented to 27 laboratories representing 11 federal agencies at their national meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Kathie Callahan Brady, CEO of FITCI, says tech transfer opportunities are especially important to emerging companies. “As an incubator and accelerator, we see the magic that happens when creative, passionate minds get behind innovative ideas. Tech transfer is really about the best use of resources, connecting both sides of the equation and ensuring that important breakthroughs don’t just sit on the shelf gathering dust.”

Blue Sources Co-founder & CEO Terry Collins is encouraged by the FLC’s announcement. “This award shows how government and private industry can work successfully together. We are proud to carry the torch because this system has such a broad value. Clean, safe water is critical to everybody.”

The biomonitors are active at several water utilities as well as one wastewater facility on the East Coast. Two devices at nearby Fort Detrick monitor for toxic chemicals in the Monocacy River.

Collins says, “There are 50,000 public water systems and countless wastewater facilities in the country, and all of them acknowledge one undeniable reality: there is no life without water.”

For more information on Blue Source’s system log onto bluesources.com. For award news, go to federallabs.org.

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Terry Collins, Co-founder

Kathie Callahan Brady, CEO
FITCI
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