microBIOMETER® supplies affordable, on-site testing kits for determining the health of your soil. The Montgomery, New York-based company provides starter kits, classroom kits, and refills that are designed for use with its patented smartphone technology. Unlike existing tests that are based on soil chemistry and physical properties, microBIOMETER measures microbial biomass because of the critical role that tiny organisms called microbes play in soil health. The company’s market is global but its technology can also support NYS farmers who are building agricultural supply chains with greater resiliency.

“Thank you for pointing us to this incredible resource. The report was so favorable about the strength of our patent and the potential market.”
Dr. Judy Fitzpatrick
Founder and Principal Scientist

The Challenge

Dr. Judy Fitzpatrick, the founder and principal scientist of microBIOMETER, needed funding to support the development of a smartphone app that would eliminate the need for sending soil to a laboratory and then waiting several weeks for the results. Later, microBIOMETER needed a legal analysis of its intellectual property (IP) and a connection to a contract manufacturer that could produce high volumes of test cards. Subsequently, microBIOMETER asked for a connection to a funded resource that could help to improve the sensitivity of the soil test.

The Solution

To fund the development of the smartphone app, microBIOMETER applied for and won an Innovation Challenge Award from FuzeHub’s Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund. Dr. Fitzpatrick learned of FuzeHub after NYSTAR connected her to the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR), which funds JumpStart projects with matching funds from New York State.

For the IP analysis, FuzeHub connected microBIOMETER to the New York Science & Technology Law Center (NYS STLC), which provided an in-depth report at no charge. For the contract manufacturer, FuzeHub connected microBIOMETER to a Rochester-area company that can produce test cards in high volumes and that offers value-added services such as converting and printing.

Subsequently, when microBIOMETER determined that it needed to improve the test’s sensitivity prior to manufacturing, FuzeHub connected the company back to the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR). Because CCMR is a NYSTAR asset, microBIOMETER was able to apply for and receive a  Manufacturing Reimagined Fund  grant to fund the work of a Cornell materials researcher.

Outcomes / The Impact

MicroBIOMETER’s Innovation Incentive Prize supported the development of a key differentiator in the company’s technology and led to subsequent connections to public, private and university-based resources. Pending the completion of sensitivity-related improvements under the Manufacturing Reimagined Grant, microBIOMETER is ready to engage the contract manufacturer.

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