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The RADICAL project is featured by The Innovation Radar showcasing excellence in science innovation. This service from the European Commission has selected our research as one of a number of innovations actively exploring value creation opportunities. As part of this exercise, we’ve also demonstrated how our research aligns and contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

As environmental monitoring and emission reduction become more ambitious, a gap has emerged between the regulation of air pollution and the need for enhanced air quality monitoring.   There is a need for sensitive and affordable systems that can monitor air quality in a wide range of settings.   Air quality monitoring is increasingly required for both indoor settings from hospitals and healthcare safety to personal health and air pollution exposure. Outdoor applications include manufacturing and industrial hygiene, agricultural emissions, and the urgent focus on improving the accuracy of atmospheric and environmental research. 

For many years, air quality monitoring technologies and regulations have focused on air pollutants such as CO2 and particulates, which are traditionally considered easy to measure. Now, there is a need for low-cost and mobile gas sensors that can meet more stringent standards for a wider variety of air pollutants as well as different aspects of air quality monitoring.  

Our research focuses on this broader challenge for air quality monitoring. The benefits of the RADICAL gas sensor platform can be applied across a range of environments and sectors, and drive advancement in the air sensor market.  We are developing a radically new sensor capable of monitoring atmospheric radicals for real time detection of air quality. These radicals such as hydroxyl (•OH) and nitrate radicals (•NO3), are the drivers of chemical processes that determine atmospheric composition and thus influence local and global air quality and climate.

We are developing a radically new sensor capable of monitoring atmospheric radicals for real time detection of air quality.

This innovation is contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals #3 Good Health and Well-Being and #13 Climate Action. Improved indoor and outdoor air quality monitoring has the potential to significantly enhance our ability to control global health issues due to air pollution which has a significant adverse impact on human health. At a macro level, improved air quality monitoring can  

  • improve our understanding of the atmospheric effects of climate change by improving certainty of global climate change monitoring, 
  • Improve air quality management techniques, 
  • Lead to health benefits for citizens 

The Innovation Radar has assessed our emerging technology and innovative research as having a very high level of market creation potential. It is exciting to see the signals of market creation potential recognised, and as the project progresses, we look forward to further collaboration with fellow researchers and industry. 

Photo of Warsaw air quality by Łukasz Nieścioruk on Unsplash

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