Cork AI centre to play key role in detection of Covid-19 across Europe
7 May 2021 | 0
DeepVerge has expanded its data and technology division in Moorepark Technology Centre in Fermoy, Co. Cork.
The facility, Rinocloud, includes laboratory and engineering production units that will establish a European centre of excellence for real-time detection of multiple dangerous pathogens, including the virus that causes Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) in water and wastewater systems.
The enlarged artificial intelligence centre will facilitate the research, development and assembly of Rinoclouds’ patent pending optofluidic rigs to meet immediate and local demand for infrastructural installations of real-time SARS-CoV-2 detection in Ireland and across Europe in wastewater.
Based on growing demand, Deepverge said it expects its Irish headcount will triple in 2021. It will initially create 60 new roles including epidemiologists, physicists, and data scientists.
“For five years, Rinocloud has been a driving innovator in real-time detection of dangerous pathogens such as E.coli, in drinking water through its’ RAWTest program, partly funded by the Environmental Protection Agency in Ireland,” said Gerry Brandon, CEO, DeepVerge. “Following on from the recent MoU signed with China Resources and the York, UK, laboratories, this EU facility expands DeepVerge’s capability to design, produce and assemble instruments on two continents, playing a key role in Ireland, UK and Europe, detecting and monitoring current and future outbreaks of Covid-19.”
Water-based epidemiology is not new and will not end with this pandemic. Examining wastewater for evidence of SARS-CoV-2 is an internationally recognised tool used by many governments to assess the rate of infection across populations in the community. Such systems can act as early warning systems detecting community spread, including symptomatic and asymptomatic community members.
In March, the European Union Commission published recommendations on the systematic surveillance of Covid and in wastewater and on 30 April the Irish government announced its plan to follow this recommendation and begin testing wastewater to detect SARS-CoV-2 levels in the community.