Request ID:  SHM
Request Title:  Sensors for Healthy Monitoring in Indoor Environments
Submitting Organization:  P&G
Response Deadline:  January 8, 2019

BACKGROUND:
Rapid urbanization, increases in automobile ownership, increased energy generation and other factors are all resulting in increasingly poor outside air quality for a growing fraction of the world’s population. As homes and offices get tighter and utilize fewer air exchanges to save energy, building environment health is also negatively impacted. Many countries are experiencing significant increases in the percentage of population experiencing severe allergies or asthma that are aggravated by poor air quality. Likewise, as populations age, an increasing number of elderly suffer from various respiratory illnesses that are also aggravated by poor air quality.

A growing number of companies are launching air quality monitoring devices aimed to the home consumer, with the stated intent of helping them manage their air quality. Many of these home sensors suffer from poor accuracy, inability to distinguish between particle types (e.g., dust, pollen, pet dander, etc.), and the lack of a mechanism to take corrective action. Typical “air care” products, on the market, focus on bulk removal particles via HEPA (high-efficiency particulate filtering) or other filters, as well as the removal and/or cover up of malodors. Solutions are inefficient and sometimes ineffective.

Additionally, we have not seen effective monitoring devices (e.g.biosensors) for detecting microbial content of air, despite the problems that can be caused by microbes (including bacteria, molds, viruses, etc). The absence of effective microbial monitoring technology leaves consumers unaware of potential problems due to bacteria, molds, etc. in their home and other enclosed spaces.

NEED DESCRIPTION:

  • Sensors (developed or under active development) for accurate monitoring of home /building or car environments for significant levels of harmful microbes, in combination with machine learning algorithms to make meaningful recommendations on corrective action for consumers to respond with tailored remedies to environmental health concerns posed by microbes.

WHAT P&G IS LOOKING FOR:

  • Partners with new sensors or sensor systems for detecting microbial density and/or population in private residences, group living homes, cars, office buildings, and other public gathering spaces.
  • For example, we expect an effective biosensor would be able to detect:
    • microbial density at levels as low as 103 cfu/m3 in air or 102 cfu/cm2 on surface quantitatively.
    • The structure of the microbial population qualitatively (who are they, and their relative abundance).
  • Our primary interest is in detection technology/ products which focus on harmful bacteria and/or molds. However, we are also interested in technology for detection of harmful viruses (recognizing that these may be quite different technical approaches).
  • We are also primarily interested in technology for monitoring indoor air quality but are also interested in technologies which are effective in monitoring microbial contamination on indoor environmental surfaces.

P&G IS NOT INTERESTED IN:

  • P&G directly making and selling sensors. We are seeking collaboration partners who have this technology under development or in late stages and envision a number of potential working relationships types which might emerge from collaboration.
  • Air quality monitoring solutions that are applicable exclusively in Rx and heavily regulated fields.
  • Air quality monitoring solutions which require high costs for installation, which aren’t portable (required fixed installation), or require frequent manual intervention.

Please note that only non-confidential information describing the innovation with current IP status can be accepted for review.