Global companies join to make ventilators for NHS

A consortium of UK industrial, technology and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors has come together to produce medical ventilators for the NHS.

Companies including Ford, GKN and Microsoft have explored production of a range of ventilators based on designs from UK firms Penlon and Smiths Group.

Doctors and the UK government have said they need more of the life-saving devices amid the current Coronavirus pandemic, which affects the respiratory system. Ventilators can help people breathe by using a pump to push oxygen into the body and take carbon dioxide out.

Following a formal request from the government, members of the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium have agreed what they will need to design, build, and test a Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator System and components at sites across the UK. These will meet specifications set by clinicians and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

The consortium is led by the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, which was set up by Innovate UK, a government agency that works to boost science and technology innovations in this country.

Dick Elsy the catapult’s chief executive, said: “This consortium brings together some of the most innovative companies in the world. They are working together with incredible determination and energy to scale up production of much-needed ventilators and combat a virus that is affecting people in many countries.”

Cindy Rose, Microsoft UK chief executive, added: “There is no more critical sector at this moment than healthcare, which is why we have been working around the clock to support the NHS on a number of fronts since this COVID-19 crisis began.

“Now, through the power of HoloLens, Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365, we are proud to play a role in helping produce these critical life-saving devices.”

The companies involved in the consortium are: Airbus, BAE Systems, Ford, GKN Aerospace, Inspiration Healthcare, Meggitt, Penlon, Renishaw, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Smiths Group, Thales, Ultra Electronics and Unilever.

the project is also using the experience of UK-based F1 teams Haas F1, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Racing Point, Renault Sport Racing and Williams.

Enablers of the consortium include: Arrow Electronics, Dell Electronics. Microsoft and PTC.

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