COVID-19 : Let There be Light – Lind Equipment

 

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Established in 1949, Lind Equipment Ltd is a leading innovator in portable equipment for construction, military, tunneling, and mining industries, among many others. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Markham-based company leaned on their expertise in lighting to explore an improvement on disinfecting practices by using UV-C rays emitted from LEDs to kill the virus. This new focus equipped Lind to apply for funding from Innovative Solutions Canada's Testing Stream, which called on innovators for prototypes to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

Innovation as a process

Lind's Apollo UVC LED Light was originally created to decontaminate and reuse personal protective equipment (PPE) while Canada experienced a shortage in the early stages of the pandemic. As the PPE shortage was resolving, the need for decontamination remained. It was through ISC funding that Lind could deploy and test the effectiveness of their innovation in other settings. They landed their contract with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to decontaminate the mailroom, distribution centre, elevators, and the clothing worn by Commissionaires.

Lind's president, Brian Astl, was very pleased with the company's partnership with GAC, noting that they offered valuable feedback during the test. He highlighted that "innovation is a process [...] it's trying, failing, trying, succeeding, shifting – it's not a one and done kind of thing." The test period with a dedicated partner provided an environment for innovation to thrive as the company collaboratively worked through their use case testing.

Evolving with the market

With over 50 years of providing reputable service under their belt, Lind is showing no signs of slowing down. The Apollo UV-C LED Light is now a permanent addition to Lind's operations, and the company is working on evolving the ways in which they could apply this technology to other settings. Brian noted that GAC's test feedback helped the company gain perspective on the user experience, saying "the more you can supplement scientific lab data with real-use data, the better." The company also found their government contract helpful when trying to prove legitimacy to the market.

Accomplishments out of innovating

In 2020, Lind won two awards with the help of the credibility from their government contract. They were an Excellence Award recipient on Canada's Safest Employers for the Innovation in Industrial Hygiene Award, and they won the Pro Tool Innovation Award for the most innovative in safety lighting equipment. In addition to the validation testing of the technology accomplished through ISC, Lind partnered up with Western University's ImPaKT facility (Imaging Pathogens for Knowledge Translation) to test the innovation's efficacy on eliminating COVID-19. Through this partnership, Lind has received the scientific seal of approval.

Apart from their many accomplishments, Brian emphasized that it feels good to see the real-life impact that this innovation has had in protecting people from COVID-19: "at the company, we can all very proudly look out and go, 'we have made an impact, we've helped, we've done something that has kept people safe'."