Press release ¤ Information de presse

Jul 04, 2023

The NOVA project develops the next generation of antimicrobial coating technologies

The transmission of pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses or parasites, can happen rapidly with catastrophic and long-term consequences - as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the pandemic, has shown us. This situation is exacerbated by increasing antibiotic resistance. One potential solution to help control the spread of pathogens is a greater emphasis on surface hygiene in almost every facet of daily life. In the Next Generation BiOactiVe NAnocoatings (NOVA) project, 14 partners from 9 countries are dedicated to developing market-ready solutions: Scientists and industry representatives are studying and testing highly efficient, environmentally friendly, and stable antimicrobial (antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal) coatings in order to reduce the risk of future microbial infections.

“The corona pandemic has shown hygiene is paramount for our health. But we cannot rely on extensive chemical cleaning all of the time. We need new highly effective technologies, that are safe by design.”- says Anthonie Stuiver, senior scientist at AkzoNobel.

In NOVA, an interdisciplinary research team is working to develop at least four novel antimicrobial coatings for frequently touched surfaces in four specific application areas: public spaces, medical rooms, textiles, and touch screens. The development of each of these areas will be driven by an industrial partner from the consortium: AkzoNobel, Siemens Healthineers, SPARTHA Medical and Evonik. As an initial phase, the NOVA project aims to identify concrete challenges and use cases provided by industry partners. These challenges and use cases will serve as the foundation for the academic partners within NOVA to develop innovative antimicrobial coating technologies. Leveraging data-driven insights, the researchers at Preste, aim to drive significant advancements in the field of antimicrobial coatings in a more rapid and efficient manner. In a final step, the product innovation experts at Dolmen Design and Innovation will ensure the availability of suitable application tools tailored to each final coating.

Together with partners Industrial Microbiological Services LTD and Manchester Metropolitan University, the antimicrobial surfaces and coatings will be tested and validated. As current methods do not provide robust, reproducible data for real-life conditions, the NOVA team is also working on new antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral testing methods for realistic and operational conditions.

A team of researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems, Empa, the University of Ljubljana and Inserm are working on adapting existing toxicity testing methods to the special requirements of coatings in order to obtain information on the safety of the coating materials. In addition, the focus is on sustainable product design.

The antimicrobial coating solutions offered by NOVA have different properties: Antimicrobial coatings from SPARTHA Medical are contact killing based and are made up of a layer-by-layer blend of water-soluble biopolymers. The three other antimicrobial coatings from Evonik, Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM and Polymer Institute SAS, on the other hand, are triggered by visible or artificial light, and are based on different types of nanoparticles, with different function and antimicrobial activity.

About NOVA

NOVA is coordinated by DECHEMA Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. The project began on September 1st, 2022, and is scheduled to run for four years. The project is funded by the European Commission, the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation (SERI), and the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) with around €7.5 million. More about the project at


back to overview

© DECHEMA e.V. 1995-2024, Last update 12.02.2024

Theodor-Heuss-Allee 25
60486 Frankfurt
Telefon (069) 7564-0
Telefax (069) 7564-201

Simone Angster
Tel. +49 (0) 69 / 75 64 - 540
Become a member