A consortium of major 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 is led by Dick Elsy, CEO of High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a group of manufacturing research centres in the UK. Mr Elsy put off his retirement two weeks ago to lead the campaign.
William Lee, Chief Executive at Renishaw, said: “I am proud that Renishaw is part of a consortium that will be supplying ventilators to the UK’s National Health Service as part of a global effort to increase the supply of this vital equipment.”
Over the past week the consortium has been assessing 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 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.”
Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, added: The essential and extraordinary work of this consortium will offer a beacon of hope to our NHS and all of society, and is a shining example of how the wider automotive and other manufacturing sectors can help in this time of crisis.
“The entire sector stands ready to help the national effort in every way possible, from production of critical medical equipment, to supporting delivery of essential supplies, maintaining emergency service vehicles and providing transport for key workers to support the most vulnerable in our communities.”
The VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium says it recognises 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.
The team driving the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium asks that all offers of support are registered through the Government’s web page rather than by approaching the consortium directly.
This will mean that if the consortium needs 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.
The complete list of companies involved are:
- BAE Systems
- Ford Motor Company
- GKN Aerospace
- High Value Manufacturing Catapult
- Inspiration Healthcare Group
- Siemens Healthineers and Siemens UKKey enablers:
- Arrow Electronics
- Dell Technologies
• Smiths Group
• Ultra Electronics
• UK-based F1 teams: Haas F1, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Racing Point, Renault Sport Racing, Williams