LSP based ShimyaTech Ltd has been awarded funding from the highly sought-after Future Innovation Fund to develop antiviral applications targeting COVID-19.
The Future Innovation Fund was established by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram to support LCR SMEs to innovate and adapt in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including those enhancing health and wellbeing through open health innovation.
Having seized the opportunity during lockdown to rethink existing antibacterial technologies, ShimyaTech diversified from producing antibacterial materials to new antiviral materials, in response to the changing market demand from the coronavirus pandemic.
This innovative approach has seen the company realign their focus towards the production of three new products. With prototyping well underway within the laboratories at LSP, a range of antiviral tissues, sprays and mask filters are being developed, with the project due for completion in the next six months.
Dr Faradin Mirkhalaf, R&D Director at ShimyaTech, said:
“The unique nanocomposites we are developing prevent surface contamination and therefore minimise virus transfer between people.
“The coating development and surface modification work undertaken in recent weeks demonstrates our technical agility and ability to adapt as a business.”
This current project builds on previous research and development work and has already led to two filed patents covering ShaimyaTech’s bespoke technology and products, with a third patent expected to be filed upon completion.
Led by Dr Mirkhalaf, the antiviral project is a collaborative venture, drawing on biochemical expertise from fellow LSP customer Nano Biosols, as well as academics from the University of Liverpool and LJMU. Its success has also led to direct expansion of the ShimyaTech team.
Going forward, ShimyaTech are also keen to partner with a local manufacturer who they can licence their technology to, in order to commercialise this latest research project, and produce the new product range at scale.
Dr Mirkhalaf added:
“We are delighted to be recipients of Future Innovation Funding, as it is enabling us to accelerate and expand at pace.
“The collaboration opportunities and support received from regional partners is an equally important and valuable benefit for us, and we look forward to launching our new product range very shortly.”
With future aspirations including the opening of a Liverpool City Region Nanotechnology Hub, it is clear that ShimyaTech have the drive and ambition to deliver leading hygienic solutions that will benefit not only its customers, but and the wider city region and global nanoparticle industry.
To find out more about ShimyaTech, please visit their website