Inhibit Coatings: World Leading Antimicrobial Surface Technology


Company Profile

Inhibit Coatings is an antimicrobial and antiviral coatings company established in 2016, by Prof Jim Johnston, Dr. Eldon Tate and the Polymer Group Ltd, and has successfully secured investment capital with Eldon as CEO and Jim as the Director.


Company website

The Relationship

Inhibit Coating Ltd was started following the success of a NZ Product Accelerator (NZPA) funded PhD project carried out at the Victoria University of Wellington by Dr Eldon Tate and supervised by Professor Jim Johnston, who has been a Research Leader with the NZPA since 2009.  Inhibit Coatings Ltd has continued to work with NZPA to develop a network of partners to facilitate large scale testing and proven pathways to commercialisation. The Polymer Group Ltd Auckland is a key industry partner.


The Impact

The company has developed proprietary highly effective coatings to prevent the unnecessary spread of pathogens and superbugs in hospitals, food processing facilities, workplaces, and other health risk-prone environments. Inhibit Coating’s technology results in coating products with the highest antimicrobial activity on the market today. Their coatings have been third-party verified from USA proven to kill over 99.996% of bacteria and 99.9% of viruses, including Covid-19. Inhibit Coatings is working with large international resin and coatings companies, and progressing international patent protections and product approvals. Inhibit Coatings also received MBIE’s COVID Innovation Acceleration Fund to assist in the development of antiviral coatings for high-risk areas.

The company is expanding and is also supporting postgraduate MSc student research projects affiliated to the NZ Product Accelerator.

Inhibit Coatings has received numerous Awards, including: The Innovation Award at TechConnect at the four most recent annual TechConnect World Conference and Expo in the US 2020; and named one of “Hello Tomorrow’s Deep Tech Pioneers, 2020 and 2021”, selected among more than 5,000 start-ups from 128 different countries that applied to the Global Challenge.

Prof Jim Johnston was the winner of the KiwiNet 2020 Award “Baldwin’s Researcher Entrepreneur” Award and the KiwiNet 2020 “BNZ Supreme” Award.  Dr Eldon Tate was the winner of the KiwiNet 2020 Award “Norman Barry Foundation Breakthrough Innovator”


The Value

Dr. Eldon Tate, the CEO of Inhibit Coatings Ltd, said: “I believe Inhibit Coatings is an excellent example of how leading-edge science and technology that is developed in the collaborative and well-connected research and industry environment, such as the one provided by the NZPA, can lead to the successful establishment of a new start-up company with employment and business opportunities both in NZ and internationally.“


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