Lincoln Agritech, a development company owned by Lincoln University, has received $290,000 in government funding to create biodegradable wool-based PPE masks for the Covid-19 pandemic response.

The 18-month research programme is using patented technology from the Wool Research Organisation to change the physical format of the fibre and improve its absorption and virus-neutralising properties, making the masks both highly effective and environmentally sustainable.

The resulting products will reduce dependence on overseas producers, particularly during high-demand pandemic events, as well as decreasing the environmental impact of PPE use.

Funding for the programme comes from the $13.57 million covid innovation acceleration fund, announced by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as a means of boosting New Zealand's ability to respond to pandemics.

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