Great West industry supports fight against Coronavirus

March 27, 2020

Dyson and Airbus, both with a major presence in the GW4 region, will start making ventilators to help the NHS fight COVID-19.

Dyson, along with a separate consortium of manufacturers led by Airbus, have responded to a government call for thousands more ventilators for the NHS. Both companies and other members of the consortium are also external partners of GW4.

The Airbus-led Ventilator Challenge UK consortium plans to scale up production of existing models while engineers at Dyson have designed a new type of ventilator.

Airbus, alongside world-famous manufacturers, engineering firms and Formula One teams including GKN; Rolls Royce; BAE Systems; Ford; Siemens; McLaren; Red Bull; Renault Sport; Mercedes; Microsoft and Unilever have put aside any rivalries to collaborate on this project.

Together they will help ramp up the manufacturing of the Parapac 300 ventilator, which is already used in hospitals and ambulances.

In consultation with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) the consortium has also finessed the design of a portable, battery powered ventilator.

Dyson has received an order from the UK government for 10,000 ventilators. The firm, headed by British inventor Sir James Dyson, has designed a new type of ventilator, known as CoVent.

Based in Wiltshire, the company intends to build the ventilators at scale utilising aircraft hangars previously used to stuff parachutes in the second World War.

Dyson is working with The Technology Partnership, a medical company based in Cambridge. The medical devices will still be subject to stringent medical tests but these are expected to be fast-tracked.

The government wants to increase the number of medical ventilators in the NHS from just over 8,000 to 30,000 to help deal with the number of COVID-19 cases.