N-Sense LLC, a cohort member of the Iowa State University Startup Factory, has been awarded a $225,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant to conduct research and development work on development a field mobile soil nitrate sensor for precision fertilizer management, Startup Factory announced Wednesday. N-Sense’s system, developed by a team of Iowa State University scientists, is based on mid-infrared sensor technology. The system can be attached to a nitrogen fertilizer applicator and used to modulate side-dress nitrogen fertilizer application rates as the applicator moves through a field. Once a small business is awarded an SBIR Phase I grant, it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant of up to $750,000. Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.