Innovate UK has awarded Gloucestershire’s Prima Dental Group £472,000 to fund a radical project’ to improve the safety of dentists and patients across the world.
The Quedgeley based Queen’s Award-winning manufacturer will use the grant to develop ‘game-changing technology’ to help reduce the risk of virus transmission.
According to the British Dental Association (BDA), there were 19 million fewer dental appointments in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to a dramatic impact on oral health and the economic viability of the sector.
Prima Dental Group, which turns over £20 million-plus annually, employs 230 staff and expects to invest £3m in 2022, will be partnering with King’s College London on the 14-month project.
Dr Marilyn Goh, head of research and Innovations at Prima Dental Group, said: ‘Success will lead to a new low-cost product that can be rapidly manufactured and deployed worldwide, increasing patient and staff safety and helping to improve public oral health provision and patient’s confidence in the dental sector.’
Richard Muller, executive chairman of Prima Dental Group, which exports to more than 90 countries, said: ‘This is both a very exciting time for us as a business, but also a pivotal prospect for the dental industry.
‘To have the opportunity to work with King’s College London on this radical project is especially important as we anticipate it will revolutionise the dental industry – and most importantly help protect dentists, staff and patients worldwide.’
By Andrew Merrell