A consortium of significant UK industrial, technology and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors, has come together to produce medical ventilators for the UK.
The VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium (“the consortium”) is led by Dick Elsy, CEO of High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a group of manufacturing research centres in the UK. Over the past week the consortium has been working hard to investigate production of a range of ventilator design options to meet a high-level specification for a Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator System (“RMVS”) developed by clinicians and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (“MHRA”).
The consortium has evaluated all requirements to design, manufacture, assemble and test components, as well as finished medical ventilators.
Companies in the consortium have now received formal orders from the Government in excess of 10,000 units.
The consortium will now accelerate production of an agreed new design, based on existing technologies, which can be assembled from materials and parts in current production. The device combines existing proven clinical equipment and is the clinicians’ first choice for the RMVS.
The regulator has been involved throughout and we anticipate a straightforward and very prompt regulatory sign off after the final audit.
The consortium is now working at full speed to take the necessary steps in order to increase production of this design. Production will begin this week.
The consortium also includes another producer of medical ventilators and it will provide them with additional manufacturing support and assembly facilities in order to scale up production of a second existing ventilator design which has full regulatory approval.
In response to the NHS’ requirements to treat coronavirus patients, there are a range of other projects aiming to increase ventilator production.
The VentilatorChallengeUK consortium is committed to playing its role in delivering both medical ventilator designs to the required specifications and, in conjunction with these other companies, organisations and groups, aid the delivery of additional ventilators to the NHS. The companies involved have taken many of their people from key company projects to do this and serve the national need.
Dick Elsy, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s chief executive, said:
“This consortium brings together some of the most innovative companies in the world. Every day, their highly-skilled staff collaborate to create solutions that help millions of people, and this project is no different. 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. I am confident this consortium has the skills and tools to make a difference and save lives.”
James Selka, CEO of the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), which has supported the development of the supply chain for the project, said in support: “We warmly welcome the fact that such a wide ranging consortium of UK engineering companies has, at this time of national emergency, been able to work so quickly to produce ventilators urgently needed for use in our NHS. The MTA has been delighted that our members, who supply critical technology to manufacturers, have been so ready to help this vital national effort.”
A plea to the media:
We know that there is intense public interest in the work we are doing, but you will appreciate that the consortium is fully focused on this time-critical project and must prioritise the task at hand in meeting the challenge. We will try and facilitate requests for interviews when we are in a position to do so. In the interim, we would ask that any press enquiries are directed to firstname.lastname@example.org rather than to the individual companies participating in the project. Please also visit our website, www.ventilatorchallengeuk.com. We will also post regular updates on the VentilatorChallengeUK Twitter feed (@VentilatorU). If you want to help:
We recognise that many companies and individuals with relevant expertise will be keen to help in the effort to produce more ventilators for the UK and will want to be a part of this project.
We would ask that all offers of support are registered through the Government’s web page rather than by approaching the consortium directly, and we would appreciate the media reinforcing this to enable the consortium to focus on this critical mission.
This will mean that if we need help we will be able to source it through that mechanism and, in the meantime, will be able to focus all of our energies on the urgent task of production.
Notes for Editors:
The VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium is chaired by Dick Elsy, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
Companies and Groups involved include: • Airbus • BAE Systems • Ford Motor Company • GKN Aerospace • High Value Manufacturing Catapult • Inspiration Healthcare Group • Meggitt • Penlon • Renishaw • Rolls-Royce • Siemens Healthineers and Siemens UK • Smiths Group • Thales • Ultra Electronics • Unilever • UK-based F1 teams: Haas F1, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Racing Point, Renault Sport Racing, Williams
Key enablers: • Accenture • Arrow Electronics • Dell Technologies • Microsoft • PTC