“Life-saving” innovation

14. June 2019

 

The Graz start-up "Birdshades" is developing a cost-effective bird protection film that is invisible to the human eye. The secret lies in special UV strips that are only perceived by birds. The slide is currently being produced as a beta version for a pilot customer program. The explosive nature of the product shows a glance at the statics: in Vienna alone, around 50,000 birds per year die from collision with windows and facades.


 

“Life-saving” innovation

A freezer full of dead birds marks the beginning of a “life-saving” innovation that originated almost two years ago at the Leoben Center for Applied Technology. “My colleague and I had an appointment with a biology professor at the University of Graz. He arrived with a sack full of dead birds. He explained that he had them just collected them at the campus and would keep them here for further identification. Cause of death: Bird strikes  “recalls Bettina Kain of a” somewhat macabre “meeting – which led to the creation of” BirdShades “. Because the idea that a whole chest full of dead animals was collected alone at the institute premises, Kain could not let go: “How many are then probably in the whole city area? And why do the birds of prey stickers not work?

The research of the two biologists quickly brought frightening to light: “In the US, bird strike is already a major field of research. Here one counts at least one billion (!) Dead animals per year. Scientists are also working on this in Vienna – around 50,000 birds perish here only in urban areas, because they can not avoid windows and facades, “says Kain, stressing that the usual solutions using stickers are proving to be of little use:” Science is certain : One would have to stick the windows full with stripes or stickers to avoid collision of birds. “But who wants to see from a window that is marked through and through? And what does it look like? “Nobody wants that. That’s why it’s not done.”

But Kain did not give up, brought together the leading bird-strike experts from the USA with local bird experts and material scientists from the University of Leoben and the University of Marburg. “We are working on developing a low-cost, high-tech film that is imperceptible to the human eye when applied to the glass. Birds, however, can see UV light, “explains Kain. Patterns in the “invisible” UV strips reinforce the effect of the special film, which is currently being produced as a beta version for the pilot customer program.

Translated by google

 

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