Award to accelerate development of Gaskiya Diagnostics’ low-cost diagnostic test to detect disease in shrimp aquaculture
August 26, 2020, Baltimore, MD – Gaskiya Diagnostics, LLC, a technology company that develops and markets rapid, low-cost and easy-to-use diagnostic tests for aquaculture, announced today that it has been awarded a $224,980 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The NSF grant award will enable Gaskiya Diagnostics to accelerate development of its testing platform for the detection of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) in aquaculture-farmed shrimp. WSSV is considered one of the most pathogenic and devastating pathogens to shrimp cultivation due to its worldwide distribution and high virulence. The global shrimp aquaculture market is a $45 billion industry that experiences billions of dollars in shrimp loss due to WSSV.
"We've worked with hundreds of aquafarmers from all over the world and they all want a way to rapidly detect disease", said Elan Lowenstein, Director of Business Development with Gaskiya Diagnostics. "This funding by NSF will allow us to put an easy-to-use diagnostic in the hands of shrimp farmers."
Current detection techniques for aquaculture disease are slow, costly and often require highly trained personnel as well as specialized equipment typically only found in a research laboratory. Under this NSF grant award, Gaskiya Diagnostics’ tests for disease detection will provide colorimetric results that are rapid, simple to interpret and require no expertise or equipment.
Gaskiya’s grant was issued as part of NSF’s America’s Seed Fund program within the agency’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships’ Directorate of Engineering. The NSF, which has a $8.1 billion FY19 budget, supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering in the US. The NSF annually receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and issues roughly 12,000 new funding awards.
Last July, Gaskiya Diagnostics was awarded a $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant from the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This grant is enabling further development of Gaskiya’s diagnostic test for Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHNv) that impacts farm-raised rainbow trout.
In addition, Gaskiya Diagnostics last year participated in Hatch Blue Accelerator’s 90-day accelerator program. HATCH is the world's leading accelerator program focused on the aquaculture industry and works to find, develop and scale talented and disruptive aquaculture startups.
About Gaskiya Diagnostics:
Gaskiya Diagnostics, LLC is a technology company based in Baltimore, MD that develops rapid, low-cost and easy-to-use diagnostic tests for aquaculture. Learn more: www.gaskiyadiagnostics.com