CATRIN’s cleaning tablets win first prize at Transfera Technology Day 2021
Effervescent cleaning tablets developed by scientists from the Czech Advanced Technology and Research Institute were awarded first prize at the national Transfera Technology Day competition. The winning tablets, which contain iron nanoparticles for purifying contaminated water, beat another 12 projects from domestic universities and research institutes. The aim of this event in general is to join together business and science in order to obtain feedback on the participating projects’ commercial readiness and, in the future, provide funding for the particularly promising research results.
“I believe this success can help us find an investor to finalize the product and bring it to market. During the competition, we were already offered collaborations with other universities,” said one of the authors of the product Jan Filip from CATRIN. The outcome of the research has been now protected by the European patent, which came into force in April 2021.
This product, which is based on highly reactive iron nanoparticles, is intended mainly for the clean-up after environmental accidents. It can remove hexavalent chromium, arsenic, herbicides, pesticides and other pollutants from the aqueous environment very quickly and efficiently. The material was produced as part of the Security Research Programme of the Czech Republic funded by the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic. Scientists from Palacký University Olomouc cooperated with Dekonta, a.s., and the Military Research Institute to implement it. The project entitled ‘Advanced Nanotechnologies to Minimize the Impact of Escaped Hazardous Chemical Substances Endangering Population’ was focused on applied research and implementation of technologies using state-of-the-art highly reactive nanomaterials for effective decontamination of hazardous chemicals (including chemical warfare agents) escaping, for example, during industrial or military accidents.
Thanks to winning the competition, the tablets can now use the label ‘WINNER OF TRANSFERA TECHNOLOGY DAY 2021’. “The certificate is a quality mark and can help to ensure not only financial support. All the projects that made it to the final will also receive an invitation to CzechInvest’s Technological Incubation programme, which can release up to five million Czech crowns for each of them,” informed the organizers in a press release.
The competition has been organised by Transfera.cz since 2020, whose member is also the UP Science and Technology Park, which is the centre for innovation and technology transfer of Palacký University Olomouc. “Together with the scientific team, we have defined the technology readiness level and the ideal way for transfer and commercialisation. Benefitting from our previous experience, we were able to present the technology to the jury panel in such a successful way,” said VTP UP Business Development Manager Petr Suchomel.
Microemulsions and gels for cleaning the surfaces of historical materials by the team from the J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry of CAS finished second. Third place in the competition went to the University Hospital Hradec Králové for a project determining the presence of bacteria in amniotic fluid in premature birth patients with amniotic fluid.
This year’s Transfera Technology Day was held with the support of CzechInvest, as general partner, and other partners (e.g., Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, Foundation NEURON, vedavyzkum.cz, and others).