SBIR and STTR Success Story for
Intelligent Optical Systems

(Information Posted/Updated on 08/16/2004)

Intelligent Optical Systems
2520 W. 237'th St.
Torrance, CA  90505

Contact:    Reuben Sandler PhD.
Phone:      1-310-530-7130
Fax:          1-310-530-7417

Project Title:  Distributed, sensitive chemical and biochemical sensors and sensor networks.
Related Award(s):  2R44CA75881-02A1,2R44DE12989-02A1,2R44CA78114-02A2
Technology Developed:
The NIH SBIR/STTR program has significantly contributed to the overall technology development of IOS’s portfolio of sensing, imaging, and toxin detection products. This in turn has helped the Company maintain a strong image, and has established IOS’s reputation for leadership in advanced optical sensing and analytical technology development that continues to grow worldwide. The fully distributed DICAST® sensing methodology bridges the gap between point detection and standoff detection, and is based on fiber optic cables in which the sensor material is the cladding component of the fiber optic itself, hence the entire length of the cable is agent sensitive. making it ideal for the protection of fixed assets.

Key Words:  Fiber, Sensors, Distributed, Specific, Biofilms, Real-time, Adaptive, Network.
Uses of Technology/Products/Service:
The field of optics has been revolutionized in the past 25 years. Rapid advances in optoelectronics and materials science, stimulated by the spread of fiber optic communication technology, are creating opportunities to develop entirely new classes of products. Simultaneously, the need for protection against chemical threats has never been greater.

The DICAST product line is a group of multipoint distributed sensors; that fills the vulnerability gap, left by existing CWA, and other toxin sensors. Point detectors only cover a particular location. Standoff detectors cover a wide path, but require “line of sight” capabilities, and are also very expensive. In contrast, IOS’s DICAST® is based on long specially created fibers that detect at all areas along their length, and that can be “snaked” around corners, or perimeters.

IOS also has developed many complementary sensors snd sensor systems, that provide sensitive real-time multianalyte simultaneous detection and reporting.

Benefit to Company:
The entire SBIR process, and training sessions, and meetings that bring entrepreneurs together, is in and of itself a creative process, and is energizing, and helps us to grow, both as a company, and as employees. As a result of SBIR-supported research, and of its total commitment to commercialization, IOS has focused on subsidiary development -- a commercial activity that has received private investments totaling over $20 million. This has allowed the rapid transition to commercially viable products. Since its inception, IOS has established a reputation for leadership in advanced optical sensing and analytical technology development that continues to grow worldwide. This focused approach, combining vision, expertise, and dedication, has enabled the IOS team to make rapid progress in the commercialization of advanced optical technologies. Since January 2000, IOS has formed two joint ventures, has spun out five companies to commercialize various IOS proprietary technologies, and has put in place licensing/technology transfer agreements with several major industries. The company occupies a modern and spacious facility in southern Los Angeles County. Various state-of-the-art research laboratories include those dedicated to optical fiber sensor development, integrated optics, chemical sensing, physical sensing, spectroscopy, biomedical and biochemical research, image analysis, and instrument control. The Company currently employs 40 highly trained Scientists, and Business Staff. Its current sales mix is almost 80% non-SBIR business.

How Product Was Commercialized:
IOS’s proven commercialization model proceeds in one of three ways:

1) Spin offs 2) Technology Licensing 3) Joint ventures and partnerships

IOS does not undertake production in our Research & Development facility, however space is available for staff and pre-production prototyping activities to reduce start-up costs. As production grows, operations move to a new bigger facility.

In the 4 1/2 years since our incorporation, we have successfully spun off four companies and raised close to $30 million dollars in total funding for commercialization of the IOS technologies they have licensed from us. In the case of the present technology, it is our belief that a Licensing strategy will be most effective for IOS/Optech. IOS and Optech will aggressively pursue licensing opportunities as well as partnering opportunities. IOS is in touch with the largest players in the field. Once the licensing deal is completed, manufacturing and sales will be their responsibility , and they will have the full technicalsupport of IOS. We focus on transforming innovative proof-of-concept research into technological innovations, which are exploited to set up successful business ventures or are licensed to commercial partners. To date, IOS has attracted $23 M via private and investment funding to support commercialization efforts. Much of this investment was put into our spin-off companies. Optinetrics manufactures and markets active and passive integrated optic components based on IOS-developed technology for the telecommunication industry. Maven Technologies was formed to enhance and market the Biomapper technologies developed by IOS. Optisense manufactures and distributes gas sensors for the automotive, aerospace, and industrial safety markets, and will be providing H2 and O2 optical sensor suites designed to enhance the safety of NASA launch operations. OSS, which is IOS’s newest spin-off company, was formed to commercialize chemical sensors for security and industrial applications. Within the last 2 years, IOS has spun off two commercial technologies and has raised $4 M

Other Comments Related to Company's Success Story:
In order to maximize and exploit the commercial potential of our technologies, IOS maintains a rigorous and wide-ranging IP protection program. A log of all experimental results and theoretical calculations is maintained and when an invention is identified, our scientists write internal disclosure documents that are reviewed by subject area experts followed by an IP Review Committee. Upon recommendation of the IP Committee, our patent attorneys conduct a substantive prior art search to establish that the invention is sufficiently novel, and, where desired, patent applications are filed. IOS currently holds 13 patents, with an additional 13 applications in the process. A patent application will be prepared to protect the intellectual property developed by IOS scientists and proposed for commercial development and exploitation within this proposal.

Past R&D and/or Sales from this Project:   $8.4M
Estimated Future Annual R&D and/or Sales from this Project:   $100M