Let’s beat COVID-19: Global challenge launched for fast ventilator development


Open innovation platform Ennomotive has launched non-profit online competition for the development of low-cost, easy-to build ventilators. The goal is to speed up the availability of ventilators in hospitals everywhere to help patients with coronavirus.

This magazine don’t usually post stories from international organisations, we are a regional business news service after all. However, at times like this, the world’s scientists, engineers and innovators, of whom this region has more than its fair share, must work together, so we are delighted to help spread the word.

With the number of people affected by the pandemic rising fast in many countries, the demand for ventilators across the world, not just in the UK, is sky-high.

Nurse preparing oxygen mask for patient in critical state
Close up of female hands holding medical respiratory equipment. Man lying on hospital bed and doctor arm on blurred background

Ennomotive has joined other international initiatives for the development of easy-to-build ventilators and makes its global community of 20,000 engineers available to face the challenge.

Ennomotive is an open innovation platform with crowdsourcing of engineers that helps companies solve real-life technological challenges. Headquartered in Madrid, Spain, the organisation was launched in 2014.

Experts warn that as long as state and local crisis plans vary in scope and quality, the existing health care systems of every country, where nearly every resource – from basics like beds to vital life-saving tools, including ventilators – could very quickly become scarce.

The government’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the government faces a ‘significant’ challenge to protect lives from Coronavirus and needs more ventilators. Earlier this week urged manufacturers who can to “turn production and their engineering minds” to the production of ventilators.

Mr Hancock said: “We start with around 5,000 ventilators, we think we need many times more than that and we are saying if you produce a ventilator then we will buy it. No number is too high.”

This online challenge is open worldwide to any engineering professional, company, tech centre, maker or scholar from different industries and technical backgrounds that want to propose a solution for this challenge. The final goal is to make a key contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The solutions resulting from this challenge will be open to the public and ennomotive will fund the development of the best prototypes in the next round. Given the urgency, the first deadline for submissions is the 25th of March.