Sheffield company Inovink has brought to the banknote printing industry a newly patented, novel, anti-microbial material – launching early because of COVID-19.

BioNote® Organic Banknote Protection had been four years in development with Inovink and development partner Penrhos Bio, a Unilever joint venture company.

Inovink’s research showed a naturally occurring material used in marine ecosystems can be applied to banknotes to inhibit microbial growth, preventing problems before they start.

MD David Bedford said: “BioNote does not rely solely on killing microbes on contact like other solutions. Uniquely, it works in a more innovative and sustainable way using nature’s ability to keep surfaces clean. It’s simple, environmentally friendly technology.

“The patented technology material prevents contamination from forming in the first place by disrupting harmful microbial colonisation, keeping banknotes safer and cleaner for longer.”

Angus Ward, commercial director said: “The World Health Organisation (WHO) say banknotes pose no more threat to spreading germs than any other hard surface. However, our product had been tested and its efficacy proven by December last year and we were looking to launch in July so when the pandemic happened, it made sense for us to accelerate matters in order to assist with improving public trust in banknotes.

“It is a new science for the banknote industry and very different to current anti-bacterial products.”

David added: “It’s great to be a Sheffield company with innovative products going out all over the world – the Sheffield City Region has so much to offer with the universities and the AMRC and we’re proud to be part of that community