The »Healthy Air Initiative« is a network of Fraunhofer institutes and other partners that pursues an integrated concept of research, knowledge transfer and networking. The new advisory center serves as a contact point for small and medium-sized companies with questions about ventilation concepts and air cleaning technologies. Within the framework of the initiative, manufacturers have the opportunity to use test environments and to carry out tests to assess the effectiveness of air cleaning technologies.
The Corona Crisis is having a major or even critical impact on small and medium-sized enterprises, which need quick, practicable and scientifically proven solutions to reduce the transmission of viruses via aerosols on their premises. They also need advice on suitable and effective modifications to hygiene and ventilation concepts in their businesses. However, suppliers and manufacturers of air cleaning systems and equipment are hardly aware of the technical criteria that are required, such as ventilation performance, or of the local conditions for installation, operation, and maintenance. This is where the »Healthy Air Initiative« comes into play. The network of Fraunhofer institutes and other partners pursues an integrated concept of research, knowledge transfer and networking that can offer companies individual and effective help.
The »Healthy Air Initiative« aims at providing companies with quick, practical, and scientifically proven solutions to reduce the transmission of viruses via aerosols. With this in mind, practicable ventilation concepts for aerosol prevention will be developed and contact points for advice will be set up as part of three project phases.
The knowledge gained from the research program will not only be useful in reducing the coronavirus load in rooms, but also offers valuable starting points for future research and developments. The concepts can also be transferred to other viruses and air pollutants.
The »Healthy Air Initiative« has been approved by the Council of Ministers of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Housing of Baden-Württemberg. At the beginning of 2021, the focus will be on setting up, organizing, and communicating the digital advisory formats. The advisory services will be gradually developed over the course of the spring and extended to include manufacturers of ventilation and air cleaning products.
Parallel to the expansion of the advisory service, test environments and protocols for characterizing the effectiveness of innovative air cleaning technologies will be further developed. Since the second quarter of 2021, the test environment is in operation allowing effectiveness tests of air cleaning technologies to be carried out.
Throughout the duration of the »Healthy Air Initiative«, new findings, publications, and information on air cleaning technologies as well as infection risks due to airborne viruses will be collected, structured, and evaluated. This information will be made available as part of a product-neutral information service on the suitability and correct use of air cleaning technologies.