CU-Boulder startup Mobile Assay receives Gates Foundation grant

By: Steve Tuesday November 6, 2012 0 comments Tags: Boulder, Don Cooper, Mobile Assay

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BOULDER - A new startup company that got its start on the University of Colorado Boulder campus this year is a Grand Challenges Exploration winner, an initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Associate Professor Don Cooper, co-founder and chief science officer of Mobile Assay Inc., will pursue an innovative global health and development research project called "A Lab on Mobile Device Platform for Seed Testing," CU announced.

Grand Challenge Exploration grants of $100,000 are aimed at funding early stages of bold ideas that have real potential to solve problems in the developing world.

Cooper's Mobile Assay team has developed a new technology - using mobile devices, test strips, geographical tagging and cloud computing - to rapidly detect , quantify and track common seed-borne pathogens in real time to respond to seed-borne diseases.

"This will ultimately allow farmers in developing countries to identify and track pathogens infecting seeds and share their data, which could improve crop yields and prevent crop losses," Cooper said.

It's estimated seed-borne diseases cause a loss of 50 million tons of food annually and that losses in developing counties are 60 to 80 percent higher than in industrialized nations.

CU owns exclusive license to the technology developed by Cooper and his team and has an equity share in Mobile Assay.

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