Paignton company leads asbestos detection consortium

April 12, 2011 by
Filed under: News 

A Paignton company is leading a €1.8m consortium to develop a system for detecting asbestos in the air.

The Alert Rapid Asbestos Detection Tool is being developed by a consortium of 16 partners across Europe as part of the Framework 7 funding scheme. Select Group, based in Paignton, is the project’s lead for global exploitation, production and distribution.

No real method of detecting air borne fibres of asbestos currently exists, and air borne particles are analysed in a laboratory, a process that can take days and wastes valuable time. The Alert project seeks to provide a solution to this problem by providing the first real-time monitor for air borne asbestos.
“Currently in the USA and Europe asbestos exposure is blamed for over 200,000 deaths and future asbestos related insurance claims in the UK alone are estimated to be €12billion and for Europe €100billion,” said Alan Archer, managing director at Select Group. “Through the development of this instrument we aim to achieve a major step-change in the way the world addresses the dangers of asbestos, with the ultimate goal of saving lives.”

The design and development of the Alert system is currently being undertaken by the University of Hertfordshire, with input from other consortium members. “The funding we have received through FP7 has been an integral part of this development programme, and we would urge other firms to apply,” said Archer. “It is a fantastic platform for SMEs to gain access to cutting edge R&D and world leading experts and build business networks. However, it is a complicated process and it is vital to seek the help of experts such as those at Enterprise Europe Network who can help guide you through the process.”

The Alert Consortium members include The Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (project co-ordinator), UK- ISRIA, part of the Pera Innovation Network  (microelectronics experts), the University of Hertfordshire (who carried out the underpinning research for the Alert technology) and the University of Valencia in Spain (experts in occupation safety).

For more information about Asbestos Alert visit

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