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Detection and decontamination of pathogenic microorganisms (DEFERM)

The goal of this Franco-German research project is to comprehensively analyze and improve processes for handling contaminations with unknown biological hazards. The focus is on the German and French rescue units, which are to be supported in their emergency preparedness planning.

The rapid identification of a biological threat and the selection and targeted use of appropriate disinfection measures pose massive challenges to rescue units, for which no clear standard operating procedures have yet been developed. The project will address this problem on three levels:

  1. New technical methods will be explored to enable rapid identification of pathogens at the site of a release.
  2. New substances and procedures for the targeted disinfection of contaminated objects and facilities are to be researched
  3. With the help of various case scenarios, which reflect e.g. an unintentional, intentional or natural release of pathogens, points 1. and 2. are to be combined within the framework of the project, and concrete procedures and processes for the rescue forces are to be developed and standardized.

The combined expertise of the German and French partners provides the basis for all these tasks. The bilateral joint project is funded by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) announcement "Zivile Sicherheit – Prävention und schnelle Hilfe bei biologischen Gefahren " as part of the "Forschung für die zivile Sicherheit" program.

Detection and decontamination of pathogenic microorganisms (DEFERM)
VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH
Funding Number
01.04.2021 to 31.03.2024
Cooperation Partner
Technische Hilfswerk (THW), Feuerwehr Dortmund (FDDO), Robert Koch Institut (RKI), Helmut-Schmidt-Universität Hamburg (HSU), Universität Freiburg - Centre for Security and Society (CSS), Bouches-du-Rhône Fire department (SDIS 13), Alternative energies and Atomic energy Commission (CEA), Institut Pasteur (IP), Ademtech (ADM), Cabinet d'Etudes Techniques des Environnements Propres (CETEP), Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (MIN-TECH)
Maturity Level



  • Nucleic Acid Analysis
  • Assay Integration
  • Molecular Diagnostics
  • Point-of-Care Diagnostics
  • Biochemistry