At the end of June this year the LASER World of PHOTONICS took place in Munich, Germany. With 1.293 exhibitors and more than 32.000 visitors from 90 countries, it is the world’s leading photonic trade fair. One of the exhibitors was MULTITEL ASBL from Belgium and consortium member of the FP7 project EnviGuard.
Thanks to the Newsletter and the dissemination of all EnviGuard partners, people stopped at the MULTITEL booth to get more information about the EnviGuard project and showed interest in the different challenges that we are facing within the scope of this multidisciplinary project. Even people from New Zealand came, because they would like to implement something similar at their coasts as an early warning system.
In parallel to the trading fair, the World of Photonic Congress took place with about 3.500 attendees. Part of this congress was the CLEO/Europe-EQEC conference, where MULTITEL had the chance to present a poster showing results of the EnviGuard project. MULTITEL has developed within WP4-the chemical detection unit a multichannel spectrometer to analyze the quantity of the chemicals PCB 169 and 126, okadaic acid and saxitoxin detected by the multiplexed sensor chip.
The poster attracted interested people from different continents (Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America) with an interested in the spectrometer itself like an engineer from Newport or about the surface functionalization in order to specifically detect certain toxins as an engineer from the University of Montpelier asked.
The spectrometer was also part of a demonstration setup at our booth where we were able to show prospective customers the operation of the spectrometer including a figure of a sensogram.
EnviGuard had a successful day at the Oceans of Tomorrow workshop held as part of the MTS/IEEE Oceans’ 17 Aberdeen Scotland exhibition and conference held 21-22nd June. ENVIGUARD was presented in a Power Point slide during 20mins plus 10 mins questions. There were presentations from several similar projects funded under the FP7 ‘Oceans of Tomorrow’ programme, these were:
SENSEOCEAN - Development of biogeochemical sensors for autonomous platforms and observatories
BRAAVOO - Biosensors for Near Real-Time Marine Toxicant Monitoring
SMS - Innovations in emerging pollutants ocean monitoring using biosensing technology
SCHeMA - Integrated In situ CHemical MApping probes: objectives and main achievements
NeXOS - Development and end-to-end integration of compact, low-power, multifunctional ocean sensors.
ENVIGUARD - Advances in biosensor technology for monitoring harmful algae, algae toxins & PCB
MariaBox - first prototype of a novel instrument to observe natural and chemical pollutants in seawater
COMMON SENSE - Cost-effective sensors, interoperable with international existing ocean observing systems
Several of these projects overlap to some degree with ENVIGUARD, to a greater of lesser degree – in particular SMS. Most of the projects are developing sensors for chemical contaminants including algal toxins and inorganics, algal detection and environmental parameters. It seems that ENVIGUARD is the only project investigating a sensor to detect microbial and viral pathogens in the water column (though this part of the project was not discussed in the presentation by Dennis Gowland).
A common theme from the researchers involved was to achieve real time sampling in-situ – often from buoys. Challenges remain to ensure that prototypes are made robustly to survive in offshore marine conditions.
Degrees of readiness (Technological Readiness Level – RTL) ranged from TRL4 (lab validation) to (in rare cases) TRL9 (System test, launch & operations). Mostly the projects reported TRL 4-8.
During Question & Answer sessions and at a Panel session at the end of the workshop it was emphasised that the new technologies and the new methods of deployment developed in the projects would need an extended period of demonstration would be required to satisfy the requirements of the market and that standards (where not already existing) would need to be addressed.
More information can be found here: