IDEM Awarded $225,000 Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation

Orlando, Fla. (April 29, 2019) – Since 1973, law enforcement has used the same technology to perform field tests on narcotics. They put suspected drugs in a pouch or tube and watch for a change in color.

However, as numerous reports have shown, including this report by Pro Publica and the New York Times, the current color-changing field test produces false positives around 20 – 30 percent of the time. For instance, law enforcement in Georgia found the test identified cotton candy as methamphetamine.

IDEM LLC is working to provide law enforcement with a new technology to improve field testing of illegal substances.

Using technology licensed from the University of Central Florida, their testing system will provide law enforcement with an affordable technologically-advanced system using a powerful database to provide instant field analysis using just the company’s unique handheld device and a cell phone.

In addition, with their cloud-based database, the company will provide law enforcement with tools to better analyze trends of narcotic activity in their community, such as matching specific drug samples and highlighting trouble areas.

To assist in development, IDEM has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant number 1843595 for $225,000 to conduct research and development (R&D) on their technology.   This brings total funding from NSF towards this technology to over $475,000.  Research grants have also been awarded on this technology by the National Institute of Justice.

“We are extremely pleased to have been funded by the NSF to further our work in assisting law enforcement to thwart the drug epidemic facing our nation,” said David Nash, CEO of IDEM. “We look forward to collaborating with law enforcement agencies in Florida and across the U.S. to bring new capabilities to this critical challenge in our society.”

NSF accepts Phase I proposals from small businesses twice annually in June and December. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process.

This award will aid IDEM with research and commercialization of the technology.  The NSF SBIR Phase I program is highly competitive with roughly just one of six proposals selected for award.

“The National Science Foundation supports startups and small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts,” said Graciela Narcho, Acting Director of Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “We hope that seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”

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For more information media should contact –

IDEM: David Nash, CEO,

UCF Business Incubation Program: Carol Ann Dykes Logue, 407-635-9882, or Alan Byrd, Alan Byrd & Associates, 407-415-8470,

About IDEM: IDEM’s mission is to help law enforcement combat the illegal drug epidemic that is killing over 70,000 people per year in the US. Our system will revolutionize field drug testing. IDEM’s system will provide law enforcement with affordable technologically-advanced tools that are safe and easy to use by law officers to rapidly and reliably identify illegal drugs in the field. Our software solution will not only help police analyze unknown drug samples but could reduce the presence of dangerous illegal drugs in our communities by providing police agencies with cloud-based tools for tracking illegal drug activity. For more information, please visit

About the UCF Business Incubation Program: The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program is a community resource that provides early-stage companies with the tools, training and infrastructure to become financially stable, high growth/impact enterprises. Since 1999, this award-winning program has helped over 390 local startup companies reach their potential faster by providing vital business development resources.

With seven facilities throughout the region, the UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development partnership between the University of Central Florida, the Corridor, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties, and the cities of Apopka, Kissimmee, Orlando and Winter Springs. For the 2016/17 and 2017 /18 fiscal years, the activities of these participating firms have helped sustain more than 6,275 local jobs and have had a cumulative impact of more than $888 million on regional GDP and more than $1.59 billion on regional sales. During the same period, the program has returned $12.03 for every $1 invested in the program. For more information, visit

About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.5 million in non-dilutive funds to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.1 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. For more information, visit