From April 3 to April 17, 2020, the JSC “Science Fund” organized and held the “Stop Coronavirus” contest in order to find effective solutions aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus infection and overcoming its consequences. In total, more than 140 applications from all over Kazakhstan took part in the competition. Scientists, entrepreneurs, and healthcare providers submitted their proposals for the fight against coronavirus.
At the first stage, the competition jury made a preliminary selection, selecting 39 applications for participation in the final. At the second stage, in the final of the competition, the authors presented their projects online and answered questions from the jury members online. The broadcast was conducted on the Bilim Plus educational platform on Facebook. The online format provided maximum transparency of the evaluation process and was supported by all participants.
The project group “ Anchor Project of the International Level Scientist”, led by Professor Zinetulla Insepov submitted several projects in the field of the practical application of materials from nanoporous graphene and graphene oxide, as well as Kazakhstan diatomite
- Creation of an anti-infectious depth filtering sorbent for disposable and reusable respiratory masks of level 1-4 protection based on Kazakhstan diatomite. In this project, for the first time, it is proposed to use diatomite to create a sorbent – a filler of protective respiratory masks, which provides deep absorption and neutralization of microorganisms and viruses. Features of the structure and chemical composition of diatomite allow it to retain a large percentage of particles smaller than the nominal size of their pores and render them harmless. Such a sorbent in the form of a cartridge of a respiratory mask increases its effectiveness and service life. The mask can be made in the form of a replaceable cartridge, which will ensure its reusable use. A deep sorbent based on a natural mineral in the mask makes it safe after use. Thus, a protective mask based on local natural raw materials can become an affordable and effective alternative to currently available foreign expensive and not always effective analogues. According to this scientific development, the group filed and registered an application for a patent of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
- A disinfectant composition with antimicrobial and antiviral effects based on the natural mineral diatomite. In this project, diatomite is used for the first time to develop a drug – a non-toxic disinfectant for various applications, which does not contribute to the development of resistance of bacterial cells, viral particles and protozoa, as is the case with many other disinfectants. The modified diatomite, which is part of the preparation, promotes the adsorption of bacterial and virus cells, as well as organic substances from treated surfaces. The developed economical disinfectant formula can be a promising alternative to disinfectants available on the market. For this scientific development, the group also filed and registered an application for a patent of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
According to the results of the competition, both of the above applications of Nazarbayev University were recommended for consideration by the Government and interested investors.
Both projects have significant potential for commercialization, which will contribute to the development of the domestic goods market and the development of the diatomite industry in Kazakhstan. Currently, the project team is working with representatives of JSC “Science Fund” and the Bilim Plus educational platform to further promote projects and find investors for their commercialization.