Five years ago, Bryan Bjorndal was on sitting on a panel at the Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology (CCAT) reviewing presentations on new technologies when he came across a patented technology that SPAWAR had developed to rapidly assess water toxicity levels.
The organization wanted to find out how to commercialize this technology and which companies to license it to. With his background in marine biology, Bjorndal immediately understood the phenomenon of how the presence of contaminants at harmful levels affected plankton's ability to produce light, called bioluminescence.
Under the Technology Transfer Act, technology invented in a government-funded lab has to be shared with the public, which is why SPAWAR was at the CCAT event that day.
Bjorndal was in a transitional phase, working as an independent consultant, and he decided to look into commercializing the technology himself. He became the founder and CEO of Assure Controls.