Quebec City, December 17, 2020—After more than 10 years of research and development, GRB Technologies today unveiled its cutting-edge LIBU technology for antimicrobial elevator buttons, which has begun a final testing phase prior to its forthcoming commercialization.
LIBU’s entrepreneur and inventor at GRB Technologies, Mr. Raymond Boisvert, and Dr. Caroline Duchaine, Research Director at the Bioaerosol Laboratory of the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec – Université Laval (IUCPQ-UL), accompanied by Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Quebec City, Denis Bouchard, Chief Executive Officer of IUCPQ-UL, and Carl Viel, Chief Executive Officer of Québec International, made the announcement today.
“LIBU’s power results from integrating the best sterilization technology in a compact, modular and secure product that consumes no outside supplies and operates at a reasonable cost. LIBU | Life Button also eliminates more than 99% of bacterial and viral pathogens produced when users touch elevator buttons,” said Raymond Boisvert of GRB Technologies.
“This ground-breaking technology is designed to break one of the chains of contagion present in such places as hospitals and other healthcare facilities, as well as public buildings and multi-unit residential structures. Elevator buttons contain more bacteria and other pathogens per square centimetre than any other hospital surface,” he added.
Developed entirely in Quebec, LIBU technology is the work of a team of experienced engineers, physicians, scientists and staff from such Quebec-based organizations as Optech, Inno-Centre, AIworx, Kone, Solutions Novika, Adventa Design and Atelier de gravure Industrielle du Québec, plus contributions from researchers, virologists and microbiologists including Dr. Caroline Duchaine and her IUCPQ-UL Bioaerosol Laboratory team. Dr. Duchaine, holder of the Canada Research Chair on Bioaerosols, mentioned that tests on LIBU buttons in real-life settings on IUCPQ’s elevators, will begin in January.
Mr. Boisvert also noted the major contributions of physician André Villemaire, engineer Alexandre Vallières and Optech engineer Martin Langlois who supervised the work of a team of scientists, programmers and technologists.
“The world-class Research Centre of the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec – Université Laval is built on innovation. We are very fortunate to have Dr. Caroline Duchaine and her team who contributed to the development of the new device presented today. In such ways, our researchers and experts make concrete contributions to advances in science and technology. This technological breakthrough will certainly have an important, positive and worldwide impact,” said IUCPQ-UL CEO, Denis Bouchard.
LIBU’s development has been assisted by financial contributions from the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation, the Ville du Québec and the Inno-centre. The Québec International team has also supported GRB Technologies in the different phases of its business development.
“Quebec City is proud to contribute to this ingenious project through its Vitrine Technologique program,” declared Mayor Régis Labeaume. Our Technological Showcase lets pioneering firms make their mark and test their products in real-life situations.”
“The Quebec City region is home to many brilliant and intrepid entrepreneurs. Québec International always provides them with assistance in turning their ideas into commercial success stories. GRB Technologies’ LIBU invention is an excellent example of why support for entrepreneurship is so important in keeping our regional economy more innovative and prosperous than ever before,” said Carl Viel of Québec International.
Entirely developed in Quebec by GRB Technologies, LIBU incorporates a proven UVC sterilization technology used for the first time in an elevator button.
LIBU’s efficacy was demonstrated in the IUCPQ-UL Bioaerosol Laboratory during studies in 2017 and December 2020.
LIBU buttons will be installed in two IUCPQ-UL elevators in January 2021. Dr. Caroline Duchaine will oversee button efficacy and microbe identification studies over four seasons.
The commercial version of LIBU will destroy 99.99% of bacteria and viruses in just a few seconds.
More than $1,000,000 has been invested in LIBU’s development.
A “fomite” is an object contaminated by pathogens. Frequently contacted fomite surfaces are those often touched by people’s hands. In hospitals, these include doorknobs, elevator buttons, telephones, call bells, switches, toilet handles, surveillance equipment, intravenous pumps, end of bed benches and edges of partition curtains.
The three greatest US health challenges identified by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 2019 include eliminating germs on surfaces in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
A “nosocomial” (hospital-acquired) infection or disease is one not present when a patient is admitted to the hospital, but appears and develops within 48 hours of hospitalization.
The average cost of a single nosocomial infection is US $30,000.