Welsh Government is asking for businesses to help develop rapid sanitising solutions for emergency vehicles as part of the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
It currently takes up to 45 minutes to clean ambulances once they have transported someone with suspected coronavirus.
Businesses are being urged to work with NHS Wales, in partnership with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), to develop new ways to speed up the time it takes to clean ambulances and other vehicles.
The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) will see businesses work with NHS Wales to develop innovative solutions. All the development costs will be covered.
It is expected that any new solutions will have wider use than the NHS – they could be used on the buses, trains, other blue-light services and in hospitals.
The challenge will be managed by the Welsh SBRI Centre of Excellence, which is based at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, with support from Welsh Government, DASA and Innovate UK.
Minister for Economy, Transport, and North Wales Ken Skates, said:
The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest public health emergency facing this country. We are working very hard to slow down the spread but we need people with expertise, entrepreneurship and innovative thinking to work with us to respond to it.
We are calling on the business community to play its part and contribute important innovative solutions that can help us control the spread of the virus.
Education Minister Kirsty Williams said:
In recent days we’ve seen examples of our universities and businesses in Wales finding solutions to the current challenge. This is another example of how collaboration across sectors can help us respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Welsh Government has also launched COVID-19 resilience innovation project support for businesses with other ideas or products, which could strengthen resilience against coronavirus.
For more information, email SBRI.COE@wales.nhs.uk.
For further information about COVID-19 resilience innovation project support visit the Business Wales website.
Businesses can also call 03000 250 243, or email SMARTCymru@gov.wales.