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New funding for liquid-based explosive and drug detection

Funding has recently been awarded by SEEDA and Finance South East for ZiNIR Ltd., and the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey to develop a non-contact sensor for explosive and illicit drug detection.

The award will fund an initial six month collaboration with the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute, a centre renowned for its expertise in photonics. ZiNIR’s technology aims to enable the rapid and accurate in situ analysis of liquids and solids, such as explosives or illicit drugs hidden in powders or liquids.

Based on patented miniaturised near infrared spectroscopy, the sensor will be particularly adept at the rapid identification of toxic chemicals mixed in with everyday substances. The ‘point, click and read’ instrument will be used with powders and liquids including through suspect glass and plastic bottles.

ZiNIR Director Dr. Ian Goodyer said, “We are very grateful to SEEDA and Finance South East for the opportunity to access the expertise of the University of Surrey. This funding will help our instrument deliver laboratory levels of sensitivity in a hand held package that can be taken into the field. Increased sensitivity will improve the accuracy of the detection and identification of chemicals – critical when public safety is at risk.”

Project leader at the University of Surrey, Dr. Stephen Sweeney added, “This is a perfect example of how regional funding can be used to bring together an emerging high-tech company, like ZiNIR with an experienced university research centre, such as the ATI. This is of enormous benefit to both parties, the region and the UK more generally.”

Stuart Miller | alfa
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