News May 7, 2020

Responding to COVID-19 with Sustainable Solutions

While there is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic took us by surprise, it is important to note how this unprecedented situation spurred so many innovative responses. We, at Choose Paris Region, deemed essential to provide an overview of the sustainable initiatives brought forward by several businesses in the Paris Region. These initiatives range from antibacterial paint, to biocide screen protections to sanitizers and sprays that can get rid of the toughest germs.

First, a Coronavirus Innovation Map was created by StartupBlink in collaboration with the Health Innovation Exchange—a UNAIDS initiative to leverage the potential of innovations to improve the health of all with rankings of top innovative locations.

Bacteria-killing paint

Bacteria-killing properties are moving paint beyond just aesthetics to perform a variety of tasks, such as killing harmful pathogens on painted surfaces, helping to reduce odours, or improving indoor air quality.

In this context, MetalSkin created a composite material used in surface treatment as part of antibacterial applications. Made of a copper alloy (minimum 92%) and high-quality polymer binders, it can be applied on any material and transform all or a part of an object (door handles, handrails, grab bars, faucets and all flat surfaces) into a highly effective and active antibacterial surface. USA scientist have recently evaluated the stability of the Covid-19 virus on various surfaces. The study shows that the virus has a very short lifespan on copper as it is eliminated within 4 hours, in comparison with stainless steel where it can live for up to two days.

PET (polyethylene terephthalate) films with biocidal properties

The startup ProtectEcran offers a biocide transparent film solution for all personal and professional screens:  mobile phones, tablets, public terminals (digital maps, purchase points, ATMs…), screens of industrial machines, mobile control interfaces in restaurants, in cars and planes, etc… The bactericidal character is guaranteed and almost immediate for most common pathogenic bacteria such as E-Coli and Salmonella. Therefore, it can prevent a bacterial colonization of the surfaces. Tests are also programmed, after containment, to extend the guarantees on viruses such as on Covid-19.

Hand disinfection made easy for everyone

The startup EverCleanHand, developed an automated solution for the disinfection of hands. It is working as a big hand-dryer, and do not need any physical interaction. The startup offers to install its terminal in high-traffic areas, and sanitize your hands in 7 seconds, using a hydro-vegetal gel developed by Salveco. This prevents the risk of massive contamination of the hands with bacteria and viruses, the main vector of many infectious diseases. As a reminder, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80% of infections are carried by hand.

Disinfection of all surfaces that are exposed to air

The Swiss startup 99 Technologies (Cleantech 99 based in Paris Region since 2018) developed the HyperDryMist concept. It is a non-contact disinfection system based on the microspraying of a powder of particles (measuring less than one micron), a mix of hydrogen peroxide and a co-formulation based on silver cations.

When the dry mist is sprayed, the active agents destroy bacteria and viruses with a very wide spectrum of effectiveness, which includes COVID-19, they create no wetting effect, and remain efficient for a certain period of time. The domains of application include hospitals and all industrial activities such as pharmaceutical, food production, agriculture, shipping, and waste disposal. They would also include all businesses in which contacts and potential contaminations can happen, such as in hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, public transports, sport and recreational facilities.

The American startup, Gilla Company has developed a sanitizer and disinfectant that kills germs such as the flu virus, staph, and MRSA. The preliminary tests suggest that Gilla protects treated surfaces for a week or more (th claim has not yet been confirmed by independent laboratories, and still must be reviewed by the EPA). Gilla uses a patented, environmentally friendly formulation not found in any other sanitizer or disinfectant on the market. The product is awaiting U.S. EPA regulatory review of its coronavirus fighting ability, and the company is exploring fast track commercialization in Asia and Europe.

While companies are still in the process of figuring out the months to come, many accelerated the development of solutions and products which will prove useful through this situation, as well as help designing a more sustainable future for what’s to come after the crisis.


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