Business & Industry National Ventilator Project gets boost in fight against Covid-19

National Ventilator Project gets boost in fight against Covid-19

Defy’s team of scientists and engineers - including South African researchers - are finalising a ventilator design that can be industrialised for mass production

A healthcare professional using a ventilator (Image: BBC)

The National Ventilator Project has received a boost in the fight against Covid-19 with Defy Appliances now part of a project to manufacture tens of thousands of ventilators.   

The National Ventilator Project is crucial to combatting the pandemic, as there is an ever-increasing demand for medical equipment and effective solutions across sub-Saharan Africa.

Led by the UK’s University of Cambridge under the Open Ventilation System Initiative (OVSI), Defy’s team of scientists and engineers – including South African researchers – are finalising a ventilator design that can be industrialised for mass production.

A prototype of the OVSI developed in the UK (Image: Supplied)

The system design consists of components Defy uses in the everyday production of core appliances and the intention is to put this project into production by May.

“We believe this gives us a unique advantage. Furthermore, Defy’s flexible manufacturing capabilities, together with the design and development expertise of the consortium with whom we are partnering, will allow us to fast-track ventilator production and distribution,” says Defy Appliances CEO Evren Albas.

Defy has submitted its project proposal to the Department of Trade and Industry along with other South African companies mentioned in the project document and included in the project consortium.

Teams are working around the clock and thanks to them this project is succeeding insofar as our ability to optimise and co-ordinate concurrent engineering efforts

Defy CEO Evren Albas

Defy is encouraging like-minded South African companies to join them on this journey so the efforts of the project can be accelerated.

Besides the production of ventilators, Defy announced a donation package of appliances worth R1.9m to be delivered to critical hospitals on the frontline of this outbreak. The company is partnering with the KwaZulu-Natal regional government to start delivering these appliances as soon as possible.

“We want to improve conditions for our health workers – the real heroes of today,” Albas says. “We hope our appliances will help them warm up food and wash their clothes when they cannot go back to their homes. This will give them chance to have a break within their work environment.”

Share your Covid-19 #lockdown experiences on our Facebook group, Lockdown Diaries South Africa.