Innovative technologies for the management of waterborne pathogen contamination events during emergencies, were presented to a network of experts in Cyprus, during a workshop that took place on the 18th of November 2022, at the University of Cyprus premises.
These technologies were developed within the framework of the research project PathoCERT (Pathogen Contamination Emergency response Technologies), which is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. The project is coordinated by the KIOS Center of Excellence and involves 22 partners from 10 European countries and South Korea.
Experts from Public Authorities of Cyprus, including Civil Defence, Water and Sewerage Boards, State General Laboratory, and other organizations, had the opportunity to see the PathoCERT technologies and interact with the project’s partners. Through this interaction, valuable conclusions have been drawn for further development and integration of PathoCERT technologies into emergencies.
Specifically, the PathoCERT technologies involve:
1. An Early warning system with smart portable and wearable sensors for the rapid detection of pathogens in surface and drinking water.
2. Autonomous drones with water sampling and mapping capabilities.
3. Tools for analyzing contamination event data from satellites, social media, and smart cameras.
4. Platforms for real-time data processing, analytics, incidence management and information visualization.
5. Decision support systems for contamination threat assessment and event investigation.
6. Wearable devices (e.g., smart watches, haptic vests, augmented reality glasses) and augmented reality for enhancing situational awareness and information exchange.
All PathoCERT technologies will be field-tested and evaluated in 5 pilot studies, in Spain, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, and South Korea.
According to the KIOS Research Assistant Professor and Technical Coordinator of the PathoCERT project, Dr. Demetris Eliades, “First Responders are among the first to respond to water crises, for example searching for people missing in floodwaters or evacuating people from their homes due to flooding. In these cases, if the water is contaminated with pathogens due to a sewage leak, it will cause health problems to First Responders and citizens. To effectively manage such emergencies, the collaboration of First Responders, water utilities and other authorities is needed”.
A video presenting the PathoCERT technologies is available at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2QNjdCHeZQ
The PathoCERT project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 883484