A point of risk saliva test for the COVID-19 virus that uses existing hand-held devices

Research partner

Total Project Value (AUD)

IMCRC Funding (AUD)

Start date

0.5 years

In the face of the global health pandemic, testing continues to be a vital component of managing the spread of COVID-19.

Typically, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are used to detect the virus, but they take several hours to deliver a result and require the assistance of trained scientists and specialised laboratory equipment.

Using existing manufacturing expertise and drug testing application technology, Alcolizer, in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), has been developing a cost-effective COVID-19 test that can detect SARS-CoV-2 virus antigens in under 15 minutes while providing the same levels of detection as a PCR test.

Being the first project to be funded through IMCRC’s activate initiative, the UTS research collaboration focused on advancing the design and testing of the rapid saliva test prototype to accelerate its commercialisation.

The test device will also be GPS-enabled and connected to cloud reporting tools, offering authorities assistance with contact tracing.

With the ability to provide much needed health, social and economic benefits to Australians, efficiency throughout the research project was paramount for fast-tracking the product to market.

General Manager of Alcolizer, Roger Hunt, noted that the IMCRC activate project was “the simplest and most efficient grant process we’ve been involved in.”

“The IMCRC team understood the time sensitive nature of this approval process, so it was a simple process that moved along at a rapid pace,” he said.

“We were able to scale up and start transitioning the idea from a research project out to a manufacturable, commercially viable product quickly. In six months, we successfully documented all operating procedures and processes and developed a prototype along with several hundred test cartridges.”

Hunt also found the project focus on commercialisation, instead of on academic research outcomes, provided opportunities for Alcolizer.

“The project attracted two of the top scientists from the university because they wanted to move beyond research to commercialising and completing a product and getting it to market,” said Hunt.

“Additionally, we created higher education opportunities within Australian manufacturing R&D. The research project funded six post doctorates, allowing students to interact weekly with the commercial manufacturing world and providing them with an opportunity to understand how the industry operates.”


Thanks to the focus and collaborative nature of this research project, once the product is fully commercialised it will create three times as many jobs as we can currently offer and generate three times as much revenue for the business.

Roger Hunt
General Manager of Alcolizer