Kromek awarded up to $5.2m contract extension by DARPA
DARPA-sponsored project to develop device and technology to detect and identify pathogens in an urban environment.
Kromek (AIM: KMK), a worldwide supplier of detection technology focusing on the medical, security screening and nuclear markets, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded an extension to its contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”), an agency of the US Department of Defense, to detect and identify pathogens in an urban environment. This follows the successful completion of the base period of the contract which was awarded by DARPA in December 2018 to develop a vehicle-mounted biological-threat identifier.
Under the terms of the new contract, Kromek has been awarded up to $5.2m to further work on its mobile wide-area bio-surveillance system capable of detecting airborne pathogens. The total contract period is up to June 2021. The completed system aims to extend the existing SIGMA network for biological threats as part of DARPA’s SIGMA+ initiative.
The miniaturised system will be capable of detecting viruses and bacteria and is intended to be located on vehicles to detect the presence of a pathogenic threat. The small, unmanned system that will run all day will also be capable of being used in high footfall areas, such as hospitals and airports.
Dr Arnab Basu, CEO of Kromek, said: “We are delighted to be awarded this extension by DARPA. The technology developed under this program is capable of sample collection to a comprehensive analysis of threats present in the air in an autonomous manner. By sequencing the genetic code, the device can not only identify threat pathogens but also be used to identify the particular strain to aid triage and treatment selection, in addition to being able to track mutations of the pathogen.
“As the system can be vehicle-mounted or placed in high footfall areas such as hospitals and airports, the location where the sample is collected can be mapped to a GPS position. The transfer of data to a central server allows a picture of pathogen levels across a city to be built up enabling decision-makers to react rapidly to any evolving pathogenic threat.”
About Kromek Group plc
Kromek Group plc is a technology group (global HQ in County Durham) and a leading developer of high-performance radiation detection products based on cadmium zinc telluride (“CZT”) and other advanced technologies. Using its core technology platforms, Kromek designs, develops and produces x-ray and gamma-ray imaging and radiation detection products for the medical, security screening and nuclear markets.
The Group’s products provide high-resolution information on material composition and structure and are used in multiple applications, ranging from the identification of cancerous tissues to hazardous materials, such as explosives, and the analysis of radioactive materials.
The Group’s business model provides a vertically integrated technology offering to customers, from radiation detector materials to finished products or detectors, including software, electronics and application-specific integrated circuits (“ASICs”).
The Group has operations in the UK and US (California and Pennsylvania) and is selling internationally through a combination of distributors and direct OEM sales.
Currently, the Group has over one hundred full-time employees across its global operations. Further information on Kromek Group is available at www.kromek.com and https://twitter.com/kromekgroup.