We reported the launch earlier this month of an online global challenge to produce ‘easy-to-build ventilators’ to treat COVID-19. The non-profit competition, led by Ennomotive, has selected a solution by a UK engineer and is now calling on innovators to suggest possible improvements to the winning idea in round 2.
The challenge is open to ‘any engineering professional, company, tech centre, maker or scholar from any industry and technical background that wants to propose improvements’. By signing up for round 2, participants will get access to the specifications of the ventilator and must propose upgrades by 3 April. Ennomotive will provide funding for prototypes (not cash), and tap in to its global network of 20,000 engineers. Join the challenge.
The Ennomotive project is part of the wider international response to the shortage of ventilators available to fight a pandemic that has, to date, infected more than three quarters of a million people. Businesses are pivoting to refocus production lines on manufacturing ventilators. In the UK, for example, Dyson, which usually makes vacuum cleaners, has quickly developed the CoVent, with 5,000 to be donated to the cause next month. While in America GE Healthcare is working with Ford to scale up production of ventilators. The White House has also tasked GM to follow suit, through the Defense Production Act, a war time power that allows the federal government to compel companies to work for the cause.
We are tracking information on online challenges, funding calls, and initiatives dedicated to tackling COVID-19. Sign up for our regular newsletters in the box below for all the latest on these and please share relevant details to colleagues and friends to help accelerate solutions.