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The international team developed an approach for early detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by tapping into sewage

Royal Academy of Engineering award for the Sewers4COVID team

Researchers at KWR, in collaboration with scientists from Exeter (UK) Greece and Spain, developed a fresh approach ‘Sewers4COVID’ for early detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in waste water.

Earlier the team won the Hackathon organized by the European Commission in April and now has been awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering award (RAEng) in the UK for their Sewer4COVID approach.

Sewers4COVID is a prototype that can quickly and cost-efficiently detect outbreak hotspots at the national scale. The prototype combines Water Based Epidemiology (WEB) and Artificial Intelligence techniques to forecast pandemic outbreaks in real-time. It also considers socio-economic conditions to identify the vulnerable groups that are at high risk. The pioneering development could be used for early identification and prevention of disease spread, monitoring of public health, detection of epidemic outbreaks and, enable decision-makers to take critical measures and deploy resources in advance to protect the communities from pandemics.

This hackathon and the prize from RAEng in the UK, shows the interest of the international community in the ground-breaking work carried out in KWR about sewer surveillance. It also shows in the best possible way that KWR is always supporting the close collaboration with other research groups and universities abroad, in complementary roles. This hackathon gave us the opportunity to bring research groups closer together and work towards a successful outcome. We expect this to be start of an even more intensive collaboration between researchers.
Lydia Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia PhD MEng
Lydia Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia PhD MEng

CEO of KWR Water Research Institute, Dragan Savec in front of the lab