KITCHENER -- A Guelph company is teaming up with researchers at the University of Guelph to create a self-sanitizing surface spray that can kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.

The technology is among the latest in Canada to get a government grant to combat COVID-19.

The spray, called Nanoclean, is a self-sterilizing coating that kills germs on contact.

“When the virus comes in contact with it, it actually destroys the virus,” says Bill Van Heyst, professor at the University of Guelph.

The spray is also useful when sanitizing high-touch surfaces.

“Door handles, and hand rails and things like that, where you don’t typically expect moisture,” explains Van Heyst.

This technology is among the latest in the country to get funding from the government.

“Right now, our capabilities within the lab are only to do small scale production and we need to scale up so we can get that out to people in need,” says Scott Shayko, president and CEO of Envision SQ.

Envision SQ plans to initially focus on providing the product to frontline employees, like those working in health care.

“From there were going to roll out to large businesses and then down the line to the consumer market," explains Shayko.

Nanoclean is a transformation of an air pollution removal technology called Smogstop.

“Basically destroy pollutants like oxygen and volatile organic compounds in the air,” says Van Heyst.

“What we ended up doing was using that technology as a starting point and reformulating, and optimizing for viruses,” adds Shayko.

The company says the staying power of the product is what makes it unique.

“You apply the technology first, and then it continues to kill bacteria and viruses. That can continue for days, months and years,” says Shayko.

Researchers are already working ahead on a second version of the technology.

“We'll be using these coding technologies within PPE and our current air filtration system,” says Shayko.

The company hopes to save lives, by breaking the chain of transmission.