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Surface hygiene test wins the Chemical Industry Innovation Award

Surface hygiene is a major food safety and healthcare challenge across the world. Orion Diagnostica Oy and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have developed a chemical test card for surface hygiene monitoring. A wide range of applications is envisioned for the innovation. The innovation, unique on an international scale, together with the research teams behind it, was awarded the Finnish Chemical Industry Innovation Award on 27 April 2010 in Helsinki. The recipients were selected by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Chemical Industry, and the award was presented at an event hosted by the Chemical Industry Federation.

Innovation combining chemical and printing technology
Orion Clean Card® PRO, a new kind of chemical test for the assessment and monitoring of surface hygiene, is the result of collaboration between Orion Diagnostica and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The test card, manufactured by roll-to-roll printing method, is quick and easy to use. The surface to be monitored is simply moistened and wiped with the test card. The result is available immediately, as a colour change indicates if protein residues remain on the surface.
The innovation successfully combines chemical expertise with various materials and advanced printing technology. The Scientific Advisory Board states that the reasoning behind giving this particular innovation the award focuses on its multidisciplinary nature and the productive collaboration between the corporate and research sectors.
Opportunities abound
The innovation is of potential value to numerous fields. Food hygiene requirements are becoming more stringent all over the world. Food safety regulations both at EU and national level require food processing organisations to carry out self-monitoring and surface hygiene verification. Hospitals are another area where hygiene standards undergo constant development. In Finland alone, some 50,000 hospital infections have been estimated to occur every year.
The surface hygiene test is also a breakthrough for Finnish functional printing technology. Orion Clean Card® PRO is the first commercial product resulting from years of research and development in the area.
Encouraging creativity
The Chemical Industry Innovation Award is a biennial award which aims to recognise outstanding achievement, with industrial-scale applications. The sum awarded is 20,000 euros and this is the 11th time it has been granted.
The Chemical Industry Federation of Finland established the award to encourage research scientists in chemical fields to undertake creative and innovative activities. It also promotes the commercialisation of new innovations and entrepreneurial activity in the field.
The award can be granted to innovations arising from research conducted within universities, research institutes or companies and to an individual, a team or any other organisation.


For further information, please contact
Aino Takala, Vice President, Business Development, Orion Diagnostica Oy, tel. +358 50 966 4503
Harri Kopola, Research Professor, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, tel. +358 40 557 4867
Riitta Juvonen, Assistant Director, Chemical Industry Federation of Finland, tel. +358 9 1728 4318 or +358 40 515 7107