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R&D relief helps inventor of world’s first filter-free air purifier to develop trailblazing portable device

THE COMPANY behind the world’s first filter-free air purifier is set to create a portable version thanks to a tax relief boost from the government.

Medical technology manufacturer Air For Life created a device that destroys air- and surface-borne impurities rather than trap them in filters which then require regular changing.

The Sanifier, developed at the company’s base on Wolverton Mill in Milton Keynes, is already helping millions of people who suffer from hay fever, asthma and other allergies and could reduce the need for anti-allergy medication such as antihistamines.

Now Air For Life has begun work on developing a portable version after receiving R&D tax relief totalling more than £95,000.

Jay Vitale pictured right, Air For Life’s founder and chief executive, said: “The money we have received back from this R&D claim will help us continue with our research and development and let us create new products that help people breathe more easily.”

One of the company’s proprietary technologies, AFL PCO, uses a fan to draw air past an ultraviolet lamp to eliminate contaminants. The UV light also reacts with a nano metal catalyst that releases human-friendly negative ions that break down bacteria and viruses in the room and remove allergen-causing substances like dust, pollen, pet dander, and PM2.5 pollution particles from the air.

Mr Vitale developed the technology behind the Sanifier while researching a NASA technology that removes the ethylene gas produced by fresh fruit and vegetables.

The tax relief was received for research into miniaturising the Sanifier, work in which Air For Life investigated how many LED lights would be needed to replace the purifier’s UV bulb. The company also needed to reduce the speed of the fan and its noise level for guests using the mini device in hotels and apartment buildings.

Air For Life’s experts also improved its AFL Plasma ionising technology by using carbon electrode brushes, which delivers 100 times the volume of ions. Circuit boards were also redesigned to allow the Mini Sanifier to be installed in larger vehicles such as public buses and HGVs.

Air For Life sought the help of tax relief expert Catax (a Ryan company) in claiming the R&D relief. The scheme, administered by HM Revenue & Customs, allows companies seeking technological or scientific advancement within their industry to claim a corporation tax reduction or refund for qualifying R&D activity.

 If a company has developed a new process, product or service, or modified an existing one, it could be eligible for R&D tax relief. Despite recent reforms to the tax relief scheme, it still remains a valuable incentive for innovating companies.

Air For Life secured a total £95,296 in tax relief. Catax’s associate director Kully Nijjar said: “Air For Life is building on research that originated with NASA to create its state-of-the-art products so it is hard to imagine a company that is more deserving of R&D tax relief. Its filter-free air purifier will help millions of people who suffer from asthma and hay fever and this R&D claim helped them in their quest to produce a portable version.

 “The tax relief received by Air For Life should allow them to keep innovating and creating for the coming years.”

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