A team consisting of scientists from the University of Gdańsk and the Wrocław University of Technology has won the ninth edition of the 'Eureka! DGP - we discover Polish inventions". Thanks to the solution developed by the scientists from the UG and PW it is possible to effectively, inexpensively and ecologically destroy antibiotics that get into rivers and lakes.

This year, during the 9th edition of the 'Eureka! DGP - we discover Polish inventions', the solution created as a result of joining forces of two universities was appreciated: University of Gdańsk and Wrocław University of Technology.

In this way, the 1st place in the competition was won by the invention 'Method of deactivation of antibiotics in aqueous solutions', created by a team composed of dr inż. Anna Dzimitrowicz (team leader, PWr), dr inż. Wojciech Śledź (UG), dr Agata Motyka-Pomagruk (UG), prof. dr hab. inż. Paweł Pohl (PWr), mgr inż. Tymoteusz Kliś (PWr), prof. PWr dr hab. inż. Piotr Jamróz (PWr), prof. dr hab. Ewa Łojkowska (UG).

It concerns an effective, inexpensive and ecological method for the degradation of antibiotics from aqueous solutions and is based on the application of cold atmospheric plasma, generated under atmospheric pressure in a continuous flow system. With this solution, it is possible to reduce the phenomenon of multidrug resistance among microorganisms of high clinical importance. In other words, pathogenic micro-organisms against which antibiotics are used will not acquire resistance to these drugs because they will be eliminated from the wastewater using plasma-based degradation of these compounds.

The award during the gala was received by dr inż. Wojciech Śledź and dr hab. Piotr Jamróz prof. PWr.

'It was a surprise for us until the last moment because the winners of the competition were announced only on the spot,' - says dr inż. Wojciech Śledź. - 'The award itself is an expression of recognition and appreciation of our work. As far as the commercialisation of the invention is concerned, we currently have a prototype that needs to be scaled up. We are working on implementing our solution on the market. The invention could be used, for example, in small laboratory wastewater treatment plants at hospitals.'

The second and third place was awarded to scientists from the Cracow department of Łukasiewicz Research Network - Institute for Microelectronics and Photonics for the inventions (in order) Ceramic film with low dielectric constant and Polymer composite films with piezoelectric properties.

This year, the chapter also awarded two distinctions. They were given to scientists from the Technical University of Łódź - for a biodegradable film with antimicrobial properties and for the method of its production, and to scientists from the Medical University of Gdańsk - for a device for combined assessment of blood supply to organs of the alimentary tract.

Shortlist of winners of the 9th edition of Eureka! DGP

Out of all the applications, 20 inventions were nominated for the contest, including two from the University of Gdańsk. Apart from the winning invention, also the invention of the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology UG and GUMed entitled 'Biopreparations for protection of plants against bacterial infections' was nominated, thanks to which a probiotic protecting potato tubers against diseases has been created. Thanks to this solution, it is possible to significantly reduce the use of chemical plant protection products in agriculture, improve crop quality and quantity, as well as increase the competitiveness of Polish agricultural products on the European and global markets. The team consists of dr hab. Robert Czajkowski, prof. UG (team leader), dr Dorota M. Krzyżanowska, mgr Tomasz Maciąg, dr hab. Sylwia Jafra, prof. UG.

'We are very happy that our invention was awarded a distinction in the DGP Eureka competition. It is a great appreciation for us and a confirmation that our scientific work is useful and may bring measurable benefits. What is more, it is also a clear signal and motivation that we should develop and improve this invention,' - says dr hab. Robert Czajkowski, prof. UG. - 'Biotechnological inventions for agriculture based on living microorganisms are still rare, although they constitute the future of modern agriculture and we are glad to be a part of it.'

Selected inventions with high commercialisation potential, developed at the University of Gdańsk, are submitted to the Eureka! DGP every year by the University Technology Transfer Centre, the unit responsible for intellectual property management and commercialisation of inventions created at the University.

In the contest of Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Polish inventions are awarded which have the potential to be used in the economy and production. 

The editorial staff of 'Dziennik Gazeta Prawna' is responsible for the formal verification of applications and admitting them to the competition. Inventions accepted to the competition are subject to substantive evaluation by the Verification Committee.

Elżbieta Michalak-Witkowska / Press Office UG