The 2nd Round of the Proof of Concept (PoC) was successfully completed after a creative 2-day evaluation of the Advisory Board at the Patras Science Park premises. 17 proposals were submitted from all over Greece, with high scientific background, great extroversion and potential of commercial exploitation. Advisory Board’s task assured by 27 evaluators (among 84 registered in PoC database) in the evaluation of the proposals, coming from research centres, universities and the productive sector both from Greece and abroad. The evaluation of the Advisory Board was carried out by specialized executives of the European Union and Israel. Out of 17 proposals, the Advisory Board selected to meet via teleconference 5 pre-selected proposals separately. The awarded proposals which will be funded up to 50.000 euro, are the following 3 proposals:
1. PoC proposal: Novel low cost materials for in-situ treatment of oil drilling wastewater- MOFBAG
Applicant’s Full name: Emmanouil Manos
Host Organization Name: NanoViis SA
The proposed project aims to address an emerging need related to the removal of crude oil and oil residues from oil drilling wastewater treatment facilities. The technologies that are used to treat wastewater produced from oil drilling are based on flotation and separation of crude oil and subsequent entrapment of oil residues in sorbent beds. This process, however, is limited by the relatively fast saturation of the sorbents requiring frequent regeneration which is associated with high operational and investment costs as it is time-consuming. To deal with this problem we propose herein the fabrication of filter bags modified with super hydrophobic coatings and materials, which can be used either independently or in combination with the currently employed technologies. The developed filter bags will be modified using low-cost precursor materials based on an easily scalable synthetic process, developed in our laboratory, that enables to remove crude oil, oil residues or both. The use of such filter bags, either in combination with the current methods or as stand-alone treatment platform is expected to have significant advantages to oil drilling wastewater treatment by offering a versatile tool that is easily adoptable to the available facilities, requires no specialized infrastructure and is easily replaced while offering high removal yield of dispersed crude oil and high purification ability for dissolved oil residues. The technology which is already in an advanced state of development will be evaluated in a pilot plant available at the facilities of NanoViis SA which is a major supplier of oil removal materials in the Norwegian oil extraction facilities. For this reason, we
expect that this technology will be of immediate interest to the market. In a long term perspective, we expect ths technology to attract the interest of many other end-users (oil industriles) in Europe and worldwide.
2. PoC proposal: Monitoring & reporting hull fouling in shipsApplicant’s Full name: Spiros Kapotas
Host Organization Name: Ioannis Loukeris
Shipping companies must paint the hull of their ships with a special paint, which is called antifouling (a/f) coating, to prevent the fouling (dirt). Failing to paint a ship properly, results in increasing the hull roughness due to fouling, which in turn results in fuel overconsumption. Moreover, the ship will need to be cleaned multiple times before being repainted, usually after five years. The overall cost of the antifouling coating miss performance is many thousands of USD per ship, per year. Although painting the ship with the proper antifouling coating is critical, it is of equally importance to prevent, or rather delay, the fouling during the operation of the ship. There are many factors, which affect the performance of the antifouling coating. Most of them, such as the temperature of the sea and the biomass concentration in the ports, constantly change. Therefore, it is extremely difficult for the shipping company to predict if and when a ship’s hull is fouled. It is even more difficult to adjust ship’s operation in order to prevent the fouling. The most reliable method to detect the fouling is the underwater inspection by experienced divers. If the inspection shows that the hull is fouled indeed, then the shipping company has an underwater cleaning performed when the ship is at berth. These underwater works cost some thousands of USD depending on which port they take place. In general, the fewer underwater cleanings are needed the better for the ship is, cost-wise as well as operation-wise. The proposed service will be monitoring the factors, which impact the performance of the antifouling coating during the operation of the ship and will generate reports, which will be handed over to the owner. In this way, we shall help the shipping company to take actions in order to avoid the fouling or decide when it is the right time to do an underwater cleaning.
3. PoC proposal: Back Brace with IoT sensors:
Applicant’s Full name: Dimitrios Moustakas
Host Organization Name: AIDPLEX OE
The proposed pilot use aims to examine further iterations of an orthopedic back brace solution designed by AidPlex with the aim of higher comfort levels and retrofitting the resulted design with IoT sensors capable of monitoring the progress of a patient’s spinal condition (e.g. scoliosis, kyphosis etc), whilst gamifying the process to achieve higher rates of adherence in back brace usage. Use Scenarios: Scoliosis, kyphosis or similar spinal deformities are currently treated with heavy incumbent back braces, which lead to fatigue, reduced manoeuvrability and potential social exclusion especially in younger patients. The overarching goal is to finetune the design of a back brace by examining aspects like weight distribution, modularity, size, adaptability and overall comfort, whilst IoT sensors will help patients self-assess and adapt their back braces leading to higher degrees of adherence and outcome. The IoT component of the solution will also support gamified processes which stand to help patients follow through treatment and exercises more diligently achieving better results and subsequently increase their quality of life.
Patras Science Park & the Advisory Board of the Proof of Concept program are available to support all groups that submitted to the PoC program by:
- giving access to PSP services & network to optimize their idea
- getting publicity through PoC’s website and related publications
The submission to the 3rd round of Proof of Concept program is still open and the submission deadline is at October 31st, 2019.