24 June 2020
Asahi Kasei & Crystal IS launch UV Accelerator funding initiative
Crystal IS Inc of Green Island, NY, USA, which makes proprietary ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UVC LEDs), and its parent company Asahi Kasei have launched the UV Accelerator funding initiative, which aims to provide investment of up to $250,000 each to companies to support the development of new disinfection products using UVC LEDs.
Crystal IS’ Klaran product family is currently found in many water disinfection systems, though the use of this technology in products that can disinfect surfaces or air is still in its infancy. Traditional UV lamps are bulky, fragile and contain mercury, making this an inconvenient and dangerous way for disinfection that will likely be retired soon (in line with the Minamata Convention on Mercury).
Crystal IS is confident that Klaran UVC LEDs, unlike older UV lamps, can be safely used in the fight against COVID-19. As an initial attempt to bolster the study of UVC products against the virus, Crystal IS has been providing free LED samples to universities and, with this latest UV Accelerator initiative, Asahi Kasei is joining forces to provide funding.
UV Accelerator: the opportunity
Led by Dr Steven Berger, managing director at Asahi Kasei America and former CEO of Crystal IS, the UV Accelerator has been established as a proactive measure of developing technology that can be used to stop the spread of deadly viruses and bacteria, contributing to the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
Asahi Kasei, at its sole discretion, will fund successful applicants up to $250,000 per company to support and accelerate product development. Crystal IS will also provide engineering expertise for the design and control of the UVC LED light source, as necessary. Applications are currently being accepted and screened for organizations with ideas for UVC LED-based disinfection products, and discussions are expected to begin this July. The UV Accelerator is an ongoing project that strives to attract new partnerships from countries around the globe to help create a safer world.