TechConnect Innovation Program

Field-Embedded Nutrient Sensor

SupraSensor Technologies, Oregon, United States


SupraSensor Technologies provides real-time, in-soil nitrate sensors. These modules use direct molecule-molecule interactions to report nitrate levels 200 times per day for the duration of the growing season. This autonomous measurement avoids the need for expensive, time-consuming soil sample collection and enables data guided rapid response to changing growing conditions.

Primary Application Area: Foods & Agriculture

Technology Development Status: Prototype

Technology Readiness Level: TRL 5


Value Proposition: Broadly, the value proposition is: low cost, in situ nitrate monitoring via a robust wireless sensor to fulfill the need for a low maintenance solution to precision nutrient application. Conserving the 30% of wasted fertilizer inputs on our 382M acres of farmland would save over $8/acre, recovering $3.1B annually.


Organization Type: Early-stage Startup (Seed)

Showcase Booth #: 811



Government Funding/Support to Date: SupraSensor Technologies was supported federally by the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (DGE-059503) program ($50,000; Jan–July 2012), and NSF Small Business Innovation Research Phase I and IB grants (IIP-1248984) ($180,000; Jan–Dec 2013) for initial development of the business model and the molecular receptor technology that enables in-soil measurement. On the state level, Oregon Nanosciences and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) Gap Commercialization funding ($250,000; Apr 2013–current) and Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies (OR BEST) Commercialization funding ($87,696; Jan 2014– current) supported the microelectronics development and alpha in-field testing.
Currently, SupraSensor Technologies has a pending NSF Phase II proposal (submitted January 2014, $750,000).

Primary Sources of Funding: Angel, Friends, Family, Federal Grant, University

Looking for: Both Funding and Development Partners