Screening tech firm Smiths Detection mulls unit in India

To unveil device to detect airborne aerosols of SARS-CoV-2

Smiths Detection, a global leader in detection and screening technologies for protection of people and assets, is exploring the possibility of establishing a manufacturing base in India to support global operations, a top company executive said.

“All our group divisions are identifying synergies with the Indian government’s initiative,” said Vikrant Trilokekar, managing director, Smiths Detections India Pvt. Ltd.

“Various possibilities are being evaluated, but Smiths understands that long-term success hinges on manufacturing facilities in this country,” he added.

The company said it was also gearing up to introduce BioFlash, a device it had developed to deal with biological threats such as COVID-19, in India.

BioFlash is a bio-aerosol collection and identification system that uses Canary technology along with aerosol collection techniques to provide a low-risk, cost-effective biological sampling and identification solution for environmental monitoring. The device provides rapid, sensitive, and specific identification of various diseases and common biothreat agents, and has been proven to detect airborne SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19) by the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

“The product has been tested and used in the U.S.,” Mr. Trilokekar said.

In India, it is available for demonstration purposes and can be used at a variety of places like government buildings, hotels and other important locations. It does not require a laboratory interpretation,” he added.

The company, however, is yet to reveal the price.

Smiths Detection said it had doubled its employee base in India to 300 in two years. Going forward, 40% of the positions would be filled with women.

The company said it is working with Indian authorities to effectively deal with renewed threat due to recent geopolitical developments, especially in Afghanistan.

Globally, the threat detection is estimated to grow at CAGR of 13% in the next three years, he said.

“Homeland security has really been a very focused area for us here in India. We are committed to offering and building world-class capabilities in the country. We would like our role as a key partner to the government of India for security of critical infrastructure, cybersecurity. This will ensure right measures to mitigate risks and ensure trade continuity,” he said.

For new business, the growth drivers will be from the persistent and evolving terror threats, hence new innovations are being done to contain them. Artificial Intelligence is another area of importance, he added.

A security tech provider, the company is working closely with Bharat Electronics, Ministry of Defence, the Indian Navy, also providing baggage and container scanners at airports and ports across the country. Besides, it is also providing services to large industry groups namely Reliance, Tata, GMR, L&T & Adani.

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