Antimicrobial coatings and construction solutions generate intrest in Saudi Arabia

A man stading next to a big Global health -sign.

Challenge to develop hygienic solutions in middle east


As globalization increases, one of the biggest threats to global health today is antimicrobial resistance. In order to negate this threat, various research projects are being carried out in a programme involving various North European universities. This has resulted in remarkable progress in technology to prevent infections and achieving better hygienic solutions.

One of the most important projects is IHMEC (Indoor Hygiene for Middle East Construction), which is coordinated by University of Turku, School of Economics and financed by EU’s Interrec Central Baltic program. The project brings together relevant clusters from Finland, Sweden and Estonia into a meta-cluster which aims to introduce new and tailormade solutions Saudi Arabian construction market.

Saudi Arabia is at the forefront in implementing hygiene solutions by undertaking wide reforms in its health care system. This requires better knowledge and administration in prevention technology of infectious diseases, as it plans to increase its global yearly pilgrims from 8 million to 30 million by 2030. The IHMEC project will help in achieving the same objectives.

Indoor hygiene solution as a new branch

Satakunta University of Applied Sciences and Turku University School of Economics together with their wide business network have been doing research in improving solutions for indoor hygiene since 2012.

“In 2015 we started HygLi project, which was set up to create instructions for indoor hygiene planning in the beginning of building’s life cycle. In practice, the instructions were published in Building Information Cards, in cooperation with Building Information Foundation RTS sr”, says Dr. Riika Mäkinen from the University of Applied Sciences, Nordic Water and Materials Institute. She has and has been involved in the project since inception which encompasses space design, cleaning, ventilation and their impact on hygiene.

“In this project we were also creating living lab environments, like school and day care, where the effect of hygiene solutions for real life can be researched effectively”, adds Mäkinen

The combination of indoor hygiene and health has created a new market globally. That needed marketing and publicity. Started by Isku Interior Oy, group of Finnish companies (Abloy Oy, Väinö Korpinen Oy, Lojer Oy, Oras Oy ja Teknos Oy) formed a partnership with a branch name HygTech Alliance. All these companies are specialised in hygiene solutions and production of antimicrobial products.

IHMEC joined Global Health Exhibition 2019 in Riyadh

IHMEC participated in the Global Health exhibition held in sept 2019 in Riyadh by creating a stall equipped with hygienic furnishing. The stall created a lot of interest among local health care experts. The representatives were Finnish operators HygTech Alliance (Isku and Korpinen), Ecosir Oy, Genano Oy, as well as Swedish Aqua Q and Estonian Saviukumaja OÜ.

In addition to business visibility and workshop, IHMEC had a keynote speech by Dr. Riika Mäkinen about the project and its application. Delegation members also visited three different hospital to get familiar with local hygienic conditions.

Proven test results and local presence inspire confidence

“IHMEC is the only worldwide project, which offers hygienic-safe, comprehensive solution for indoors with high standard requirements. Our antimicrobial solutions for bathroom furnishing have got a warm reception from local operators. Proven tested antimicrobial products have convinced also the Saudi-Arabian health care experts”, says Leena Mäki, CEO of Väinö Korpinen Oy

Development Manager Kari Soljamo from Isku Interior Oy participated to Global Health Exhibition as well. “The Saudi-Arabian business culture differs from Europe. If you want to gain a footing in Saudi-Arabia for your business, you must establish trustful relations for local partners. Also, the local presence with own sales representative is very important. From part of vendible products, the local approvals must be gained. They are usually based on SASO, ISO- ja EN-standards”

The IHMEC looks a bright and promising, very good and deep partnership for relations and networks to Saudi-Arabia has already been carried out. “Saudi Arabia invests now strongly for education and technology, so we can be global pioneer in infectious prevention”, sums Soljamo.

Ihmec stand at a fair.

IHMEC partners

University of Turku

Satakunta University
of Applied Sciences

KHT Royal Institute
of Technology

Uppsala University

Tartu Business Advisory

Estonian Woodhouse

Finnish Federation of
Hospital Engineering

Joint ventures

HygTech Alliance (Isku , Abloy,
Oras, Korpinen, Lojer and Teknos

Ecosir Group O

Genano Oy

Geberit Oy

Granlund Oy

Halax Oy

Led Tailor Oy

Medanta Oy

Aqua Q Ab

Saviukumaja OÜ

Rakennustieto Oy

Estonian solid wood solutions

OÜ Harmet

Matek AS

Nordic houses OÜ

Q Prefab OÜ


Tervemaja OÜ

Puidukoda OÜ

Aqua Q Ab