On 28 January 2021, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) accepted Eindhoven Engine’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) proposal on sustainable medical isolation gowns. Through SBIR, the government is challenging entrepreneurs to come up with innovative products and services to solve societal issues. Together with TNO and HAVEP, Eindhoven Engine submitted a proposal and we are proud to have been selected as one of the five projects. 10 proposals were submitted in total.
The fight against the COVID-19 virus is generating a lot of waste. The vast majority of protective materials used in the healthcare sector need to be destroyed after a single use due to the risk of contamination. In this research, Eindhoven Engine and its partners will focus on the development of sustainable medical isolation gowns that can be used multiple times: the ProH I-gown. In addition, an investigation will take place into how the production capacity can be made (economically) scalable and flexible when necessary.
These sustainable medical isolation gowns can save six tons of CO2 per million gowns. If these isolation gowns are fully utilized during crisis situations, the result could be a saving of 0.2% of the total plastic waste stream in the Netherlands. In addition, ProH Isolation gowns stimulate the production of protective clothing in Europe.
The execution of this research for the healthcare sector in the Netherlands consists of two phases. In this wonderful collaboration between innovation accelerator Eindhoven Engine, research organisation TNO and manufacturer HAVEP, a technical feasibility assessment will be carried out in the first phase. A business case will also be set up. The gowns will be made of woven PET material with an environmentally friendly coating. Research will also be carried out into the durability and wearability of these gowns. HAVEP will contribute its many years of knowledge and experience in the development and production of fabrics to this partnership. For this first phase, EUR 25,000 has been made available. In phase 2 of the project, the concrete industrialization will be worked out in detail. The official kick-off of this project is Tuesday 16 February 2021.
“I’m very happy with the start of this project: a large, relevant problem which we’re going to solve together!”
Maarten Steinbuch, Scientific Director Eindhoven Engine