Kromek secures new contract for bio-threat detection system

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Kromek Group PLC (LON:KMK) said it has been awarded a contract by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for Phase II of its development of a biological threat detection system.

The screening specialist said it will deliver the US$6mln contract over the next 28 months, with Phase II to see the company develop an automated wide spectrum airborne pathogen detection system that is fully mobile and runs autonomously.

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Kromek said systems will also be designed to be networked where data is stored, shared and further analysed and provide real-time information to decision-makers, with key milestones under Phase II to include the creation of beta units as well as final design and build of systems for extended field trials.

The new deal also follows the successful completion of Phase I of development, which included the creation of a vehicle-mounted biological-threat identifier as well as a miniaturised mobile wide-area bio-surveillance system. Kromek added that the new contract takes the overall programme value awarded to the firm to around US$13mln.

“In addition to the ever-present danger of bio-terrorism, the outbreak of the pandemic has exposed the world to the severity of biological threats and their potential impact on public health and the global economy, and has demonstrated the need to rapidly evolve bio-security systems and associated technologies”, Kromek chief executive Arnab Basu said in a statement.

“This contract will allow us to continue our work in developing a mobile wide-area bio-surveillance system capable of detecting airborne pathogens in real-time. We look forward to reporting on our progress as we deliver on our milestones”, he added.

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