The Malta Digital Innovation Authority is pleased to announce the winner of the MDIA Award for Innovative Technologies in Response to COVID-19. The aim of this initiative, launched on 6 April, was to encourage the development and deployment of innovative ideas to support society during COVID-19.
Following a rigorous evaluation process having received a total of 23 valid submissions:
- the first prize has been awarded to Mr Marc Anthony Azzopardi; and
- the second prize has been awarded to Mr David Sciberras.
Mr Marc Anthony Azzopardi, on behalf of the Department of Electronic Systems Engineering at the University of Malta, won first place for the development of a UVGI Mask/Respirator Decontaminator for Front Line Health Workers. The team designed and built prototype equipment that uses short-wavelength Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) and the concomitant generation of Ozone gas. The objective of this equipment is to substantially reduce the viral bio-burden of up to 9 disposable face respirators concurrently in a few minutes, so that they may be re-used in greater safety by medical personnel facing shortages. Once delivered, the equipment will include interlocks that will prevent accidental exposure of staff to UVGI which is associated with severe eye and skin damage.
Full Project details are found on the following website: https://www.um.edu.mt/newspoint/news/2020/03/UM-hardware-disinfect-face-respirators
Mr David Sciberras on behalf of Invent 3D, won second place for the development of 3D Printing and urgent manufacturing of PAPR respirator adapters and retrofitting unusable PAPR systems with modern filtration systems while simultaneously improving airflow. Ear savers were developed to relieve the ears of surgical mask wearers as well as the development of hand sanitizer holders to stop the thefts occurring in hospital. The latest developments of this effort also included the designing of swabs, which are undergoing clinical trials, as well as medical hoods for medical professionals to wear. This was done in collaboration with CPSU, MDH and Infection Control. The aim of this project was to have a final, medically approved design. The nature of 3D printing meant that once designs were approved, they were instantly put into production without extra lead time or extra tooling costs. Additive manufacturing (3D Printing) has never seen this kind of impact on a local scale and this initiative revolutionised the way 3D Printing is viewed by Medical Professionals and the general public.
For more information watch the following video: https://www.facebook.com/Invent3DLtd/videos/1119871978366927/