Luminochem’s most recent grant reaches it’s first milestone

Luminochem’s most recent grant reaches it’s first milestone

Development of a new type of product safety system based on the use of unique optical-spectral signals that can be detected by instrumental means

Project summary

The issue of product safety is of growing importance worldwide. Globally, the development of chemical markers has been carried out independently, without the development of related detection technology. Thus, only human vision remained for the detection of fluorescent dyes. During the joint research and development project of Luminochem Kft. and Optimal-Optik Kft., we will create a new product safety system by jointly developing marking materials and detectors suitable for their identification.

The wide range of possibilities offered by instrumental detection expands the repository of chemical markers. Another goal of the project is to develop analytical equipment for the production and quality control of chemical pigments and dyes, which are optimized for the types of materials occurring in this industry, and can be used faster, cheaper, and more accurately than general-purpose analytical equipment. Their use reduces the time required to develop chemical markers and results in higher quality production.

Luminochem specializes in developing and manufacturing unique luminescent photoactive materials and markers, with the focus on organic fluorescent security pigments and dyes and near infra-red absorbing materials. By converting scientific results into industrial innovation, it enables its customers to jointly develop the perfect solution in the field of marking technology. Optimal-Optik Kft. operates in the fields of optics, precision mechanics, optoelectronics. Its primary activity is to provide design, research, and development services to customers. It also manufactures custom optical devices from prototype to medium and high-volume production.

Objective of the project

Counterfeiting is a global problem that threatens, public health, the food industry, tax evasion and increases public spending as well as the costs of legitimate producers.

In the case of banknotes, documents and valuables, the protection of origin is and always going to be of paramount importance. However, in some other fields (e.g., transportation tickets) the advancement of digital security solutions are becoming dominant. Based on our market experiences, we can say that the various anti-counterfeiting solutions will not disappear but are complemented by protection solutions placed directly on the packaging of products. As an example, in some countries, excise goods are not marked with a seal, nor with a separate label to be affixed, but printed directly on the surface of bottles, flasks and other packages, which also contains a unique chemical security marker in addition to the digital code ensuring its non-replicability.

The project is based on the research background of Luminochem Kft. and Optimal-Optik Kft. Luminochem is an enterprise with extensive international experience, leading R&D projects in chemical and materials science, which develops and manufactures unique chemical security solutions for the security printing industry and several other areas of the security industry. Optimal-Optik provides optical design, research and development services to its customers. The sustainability of the tender is ensured by the expertise of the consortium members, the appropriate financial background, and the sales potential of the developed products. Luminochem Is a globally recognized market player in the development and production of security markers, so the sales of new products developed during the project is secured.

During our project, we want to develop solutions that are suitable for marking certain products and product groups with unique chemical symbols for the purpose of brand protection, and to create prototypes of detectors that read, decode, and identify these chemical signals directly. When solving the tasks, we are also paying attention to the fact that, unlike banknotes and documents, these are not necessarily used on a flat surface, but in many cases on a curved surface (e.g., bottles, tubes). Reading and decoding on such an undefined surface must work on-site, without laboratory equipment.

Most of the chemical origin markings are currently based on the use of UV fluorescent materials, with little use of magnetic or other materials that are special in their optical properties, but the most common security features can be seen on banknotes when examined under UV light. Although these signals are examined with a separate device (UV lamp), the evaluation of the results in most cases is carried out by visual inspection, so the subjective factor of this examination is relatively high. It is worth supplementing this or replacing it in the future with markings, where the evaluation is not based on the subjectivity of the human eye but is based on the results of instrumental analysis. This is what we kept in mind from the start of our project: the development of chemical markers that give unique optical-spectral signals and the creation of closely related custom-developed decoding instruments and fluorimeters that match the unique signals.

Status of the project

The implementation phase, led by Luminochem, started in early January 2021, and will soon reach its first milestone. As a result of the research phase, several security marker prototypes have been developed by Luminochem during the year. In 2022, Luminochem set the goal of optimizing and increasing the production of prototypes so that 6 new products could be introduced by the end of the project. Optimal-Optik is successfully working on the research of photonic excitation and detection of chemical markers in the research phase of the project. This includes reviewing the literature and patents, computer simulating the photonic excitation and detection of chemical markers and constructing and testing laboratory measuring equipment.

Project no. 2020-1.1.2-PIACI-KFI-2020-00155 has been implemented with the support provided by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Hungary from the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund, financed under the 2020-1.1.2-PIACI-KFI funding scheme.

Details of the application project

Tenderer: National Office for Research, Development and Innovation

Title and code of the call for proposals: “Support for market-led R&D and innovation projects”, 2020-1.1.2-PIACI-KFI

Title and identifier of the tender project: “Development of a new type of product safety system based on the use of unique optical-spectral signals that can be detected by instrumental means”, 2020-1.1.2-PIACI-KFI-2020-00155

Total amount and intensity of support received: HUF 291 624 542 (67.95%), of which:

Consortium leader:

Luminochem Kft.: HUF 195 856 562

Consortium partner:

Optimal Optik Kft.: HUF 95 767 980

Duration of the project implementation: 01.01.2021 – 31.12.2023.

Total cost of the project: HUF 429 206 486

Contact details related to the project

Beneficiary name and contact

Luminochem Kft.

1222 Budapest Háros utca 7/A

Phone: +36706127884

 

Supporting, Management body name and contact

Ministry of Innovation and Technology; National Office for Research, Development and Innovation

1077 Budapest, Kéthly Anna tér 1.

Phone: + 36-1-795-9500

https://nkfih.gov.hu

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