Cupron Inc. named Virginia innovation award winner

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Richmond-based Cupron Inc. has been named the winner of the Virginia Governor’s Award for Science Innovation.

Cupron is the developer of a technology that transforms regular products by using the properties of copper. Cupron Enhanced products include hard surfaces, footwear, clothing and cosmetics.

Cupron’s product development partner, EOS Surfaces LLC in Norfolk, is selling antimicrobial copper-based counter tops, furniture and other building components. Several hospitals in Virginia are planning to use Cupron Enhanced textiles and EOS Surface materials to help reduce hospital-associated infections.

Cupron and EOS jointly received EPA approval to make a public health claim that their copper-enhanced material can kill more than 99.9 percent of bacteria within two hours of exposure, including MRSA, one of most common strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

In 2010, Cupron Enhanced antimicrobial socks were supplied through a capsule to 33 Chilean miners trapped trapped 2,000 feet underground for 69 days. The socks helped them combat conditions in the mine — dirt, high temperature and high humidity — that were an ideal environment for fungal and bacterial growth.

In addition to Cupron’s award, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced two winners of Virginia’s Outstanding Scientist Award. They are Harold E. Burkhart and Patricia M. Dove, both of whom are professors at Virginia Tech.

Burkhart has gained world renown for his contributions in developing models for forecasting forest stand development, growth and yield.

Dove is considered a leading expert in the field of biomineralization — the processes by which animals grow skeletons and other functional structures.


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