Coronavirus Brings Together Sibenik Companies Making UV Disinfectant

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 1st of October, 2020, although the technology of destroying viruses and bacteria with UV light has been used for a long time now, the innovation of the Sibenik company UVready could lead to its wider application. It is, so to speak, a “coronavirus company” that emerged in March due to the spread of the pandemic by merging three Sibenik companies from the PIN Business Incubator in that Dalmatian city into a single joint project.

The goal, the owners of the three Sibenik companies explain, was to contribute to the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus, primarily from the position of continuing the sustainable business of their parent companies, with a total of about 50 employees, as well as their core business.

Their more widely adapted UV systems or devices could soon, they hope, greatly facilitate the disinfection of various types of spaces and even enable a larger number of people to stay indoors than currently allowed. All this at a much lower price we’re currently paying for coronavirus protection.

As Martin Krstic, the owner of the energy project company Energy4People, which has developed several energy efficiency projects, larger solar and hydro power plants in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, explains, the story began in early March with Franko Juric, owner of the engineering company FN Elektroinstalacije, and Ornel Supa, the owner of Bubamara, a company that specialises in professional maintenance and cleaning, found the PIN in a discussion of how to respond to the then just emerging coronavirus crisis.

“Although each of us comes from a different business, we realised we had to do something. My colleague and I are engineers and came up with the idea of ​​applying UV technology to fight the coronavirus. We knew the technology of UV radiation in the fight against viruses and bacteria that are much stronger than the flu or coronavirus works, which is actually nothing new because back in 1903 Niels Ryberg Finsen won the Nobel Prize for this discovery,” said Krstic, the CEO of UVready.

He explained that this disinfection technology has been used for decades in the healthcare system, primarily in operating rooms and laboratories, which are disinfected with UV light after undergoing classic cleaning. The same situation takes place in the food industry where in factories almost all food is “insured” at the end of the production process with UV radiation. However, in these conditions, it is highly certified professional equipment and its price is high.

“We realised that we don’t need such advanced standards for disinfection from the coronavirus, flu, etc, so the price would be three to four times lower, and with the mass production of components it would fall even further,” Krstic pointed out. In the end, UVready “emerged” from such an approach, assembling such systems according to the needs of individual users.

UVready, therefore, isn’t just a classic store that sells finished products but specialises in smaller systems, the smallest ones suitable for smaller business premises or private apartments, can be, they say from UVready, available for around three thousand kuna.

Although they founded the company in the spring, they realised their first commercial project only this week with the Zagreb-based agency Lemax, which specialises in travel software.

“So far, we’ve had two donations in Sibenik, for the hospital there and the nursing home. Our plan is to expand to all sectors, primarily service activities and transport, but first we’re going to health institutions, ie hospitals, and we could soon get several large contracts.

Namely, in hospitals we don’t have to explain much about what it is about because they’ve always used UV light there in specific conditions, and we’re now offering it to them in other places where people gather and move,” explained the executive director of UVready. They also started cooperating with scientific institutes, from which they would receive certificates for their lamps and fans that would be recognised by the general public. Therefore, they are planning several scientific and business conferences in the coming period, the first B2B meeting in Sibenik on October the 15th, 2020, and after that in Zagreb and Mostar, where they plan to get the business community better acquainted with this technology.

At the same time, this group of Sibenik companies are starting talks with the National Civil Protection Headquarters in order to influence that their recommendations and measures are in line with technological achievements.
This specifically means that the existing mass application of disinfectant fluids would be replaced with UV lamps at every step. Additionally, using this technology could, according to UVready, double the allowable number of people indoors, be it in cafes, restaurants, clubs or at conferences and in studio halls.

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