The development is accelerated by organizing a joint conference with Canada’s SENTINEL Bioactive Paper Network. The objective of both networks is to develop completely new types of products which e.g. detect and deactivate pathogens like salmonella and SARS.
The cooperation between the Finnish and Canadian networks will be promoted in the conference, which runs from June 24-26, 2008 in Espoo. Nearly 40 representatives of SENTINEL Bioactive Paper Network are joining with the respective amount of Finnish network representatives. The focus of the conference is to find solutions to some of the technical challenges that still exist and on accelerating the development of commercial applications.
SENTINEL’s scientific director, and the professor of chemical engineering in Canada Research Chair in Interfacial Technologies and at McMaster University Robert Pelton mentions that one possible application could be for instance a strip of paper which could immediately identify the presence of contaminates in drinking water.
According to Tomi Erho, Senior Rsearch Scientist at VTT, this conference marks an important milestone in developing new bioactive paper products. By joining the forces of a large group of highly skilled researchers and by sharing knowledge and skills, the research parties believe to progress faster towards their goal. Customers may have access to the first simple applications within five years.
Bioactive paper is a product that includes functionalities based on the selective reactions of biomolecules, such as enzymes or antibodies. The application possibilities are extensive and less expensive than products that are in the market today. They consist of e.g. indicators or sensors attached to filters, food product packaging or personal health diagnostics. In printed intelligence applications, the paper’s competitiveness lies in the fact that it is biodegradable, which is important in terms of sustainable development.
The project involves a network of research partners, including Åbo Akademi, HUT and the University of Lapland. It is funded by Tekes, VTT and UPM-Kymmene Oyj, Tervakoski Oy, Ciba Finland Oy, Hansaprint Oy, Oy Medix Biochemica Ab, Orion Diagnostica Oy, Starcke Oy Securities ja Eagle Filter Oy. The project will end in the spring of 2009. SENTINEL –network’s industrial partners include e.g. Ahlstrom, FUJIFILM Dimatix, Sun Chemical and Cascades.
The Finnish project is one of the key projects of the Center for Printed Intelligence, initiated by VTT in 2006. The center’s purpose is to introduce new innovations and market initiatives between the traditional ICT and paper industries by combining IT, electronics and printing technologies. The goal is to promote the commercialisation of products and to create new business aimed at the global markets.
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