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Innovative Business Models for a new Integrated Rapid Microbial Pathogen Tester

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RapidBact (Innovative Business Models for a new Integrated Rapid Microbial Pathogen Tester)

Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2016-07-31

RapidBact hopes to solve the long standing problem of efficiently testing water for evidence of specific bacterial contamination. Existing processes are slow, require considerable training and equipment is bulky and expensive to transport.

Over 600m people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water. NGOs, Governments and private organisations seek to remedy this in numerous ways. Surveillance and monitoring of existing water sources is also a crucial factor in helping to reduce this number.

In the developing World poor sanitation can lead to drinking water sources to becoming contaminated by human waste. Regular testing of water can prevent illness before it starts by allowing remedial action to be taken. Current testing methods take between 18-24 hours, meaning that WASH teams cannot act quickly, should they find a problem at the point of use.

RapidBact will be a fast, simple and efficient test which does not need to be performed under laboratory conditions by skilled workers.
In this project we have carried out a major phase of market research, as well as continued scientific research with regards to identifying bacteria within a water sample in less than 2 hours. The highlights of work performed were:

• Tested the model process against additional bacteria species for process translation issues;
• Identified key water environmental interference bacteria;
• Identified solutions that will make the test more accurate and potentially faster;
• Identified a new potential market.
We feel that the impact on wider society of such a test will be far reaching, with further possibilities for adaptation into developed world markets a strong possibility. The business will likely have two clear divisions of ‘Developed World’ and ‘Developing World’.

Developing World Impact summary;

• Rapid test allows for immediate treatment on contaminated water sources
• Larger geographical area can be covered in a shorter timeframe
• Simple to use test will allow all field staff to test water even if they are not WASH trained
• Location recording will allow for efficient management of testing regimes
• NGOs, Governments and private companies will have a simple, technologically advanced testing unit they can rely on.

Developed World Impact summary;

• Private water sources in Europe have to be regularly checked by private laboratory services or Local authority environmental health departments.
• Rapid on the spot testing could have major applications in food and beverage, hospitality and leisure.
E.coli Bacteria