Windsor high tech firm wins defense contract
WINDSOR — Seldon Laboratories LLC, a nanotechnology research and design firm, has been awarded a $2.5 million research contract with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory based in Dayton, Ohio.
The new defense contract will add 20 jobs to Seldon's existing staff of 14 and provide a 13-month window for research to make ocean water usable for drinking.
"We will be looking for lab technicians and research scientists with experience in chemistry and biology and physics," Jonathan Wilson, marketing director, said Wednesday. "We have to work pretty fast."
The company will improve the water desalinization capability of a filtration system they developed over the past two years, according to a company statement.
In April 2004, Seldon Labs won a similar contract to develop a nanotech process that purified water, removing pollutants and poison.
"This particular contract is for research on fused carbon nanotube technology," Wilson said.
A nanotube is a rolled-up sheet of carbon atoms that resembles a micro-sized roll of chicken wire, he said. The filter purifies water without chemicals, radiation or heat and is easily portable.
The company has patents pending on the technology, Wilson said.
"This lightweight, efficient technology will help the Air Force reduce their costs of water transportation, solve a vexing logistics problem, and open up new sources of drinking water around the world," said Seldon CEO Alan Cummings in a prepared statement.
Senators Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and James Jeffords, I-Vt., secured the funding as part of this year's defense budget.
The two lawmakers cited both an immediate need for the purification technology and a long-term benefit.
"One of the central problems in an extended military deployment is access to drinkable water," Leahy said in a press release.
"Seldon has applied Vermont know-how in a very sophisticated and advanced way to help the Air Force with a smart solution.
"Over the long-term," he added, "I can see this technology making drinkable, usable water available in struggling societies across the globe."
"The conflict in Iraq has highlighted the difficulty of providing potable water to our troops in a war zone," Jeffords said in a statement. "I expect that this technology will prove valuable in the quest for water purification techniques around the globe, as contaminated water is one of the greatest problems facing the world."
Seldon Laboratories was founded in January 2003 by Cummings and Christopher Cooper, a PhD student at Dartmouth College. Roger Kennedy, who served as an advisor in the Clinton Administration, is also a partner in the company.
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