Manufacturing and COVID-19: How you or your organisation could help

NOTE: For specific information on Ventilators and CPAP equipment, scroll down.

  • Register with UK Government to offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support from your business: Use this website to tell the UK Government how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus.The support needed includes: medical testing equipment; medical equipment design; protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser; hotel rooms; transport and logistics, for moving goods or people; manufacturing equipment; warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage; expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement, engineering or communications.
  • Respond to UK Government's urgent request for COVID-19 antigen testing kits: The requirement is for commercial supply of the following: Full testing packages; any of the separate components within the testing package; any alternative tests the government should be considering.
  • Register with the COVID-19 Outbreak Expert Database:  To speed up the process of Parliament accessing relevant research expertise, the Knowledge Exchange Unit of the UK Parliament are creating a COVID-19 Outbreak Expert Database. If you have any expertise relating to COVID-19 or its impacts, and if you would be prepared to provide expert insights to Parliament, complete this form.
  • Support Engineers for Doctors: Engineers for Doctors is gathering resources and building open-source tools and equipment to help Doctors survive and tackle coronavirus. Initial focus = PPE mask shortage.
  • Join Rapid Review Network for Royal Society Open Science: Royal Society Open Science journal is issuing a special call for Registered Report (RR) submissions that are relevant to COVID-19 in any field, including but not limited to biological, medical, economic, and psychological research. The journal is seeking reviewers in all fields to help with this extraordinary effort by agreeing to review manuscripts within 24 to 48 hours after accepting a review request. If you are willing to review a Stage 1 RR in your field of expertise within 24-48 hours of accepting a review request, please complete this online form
  • Register as a volunteer at Helpful Engineering: Designing, sourcing and executing projects to help people suffering from the COVID-19 crisis worldwide. They are an open community of volunteers without a commercial purpose. They believe that through a utilitarian approach, they can do the most good in the quickest time. Applying unused engineering and manufacturing resources, they can help the world cope with the threat of COVID-19.  
  • Use and contribute to the Coronavirus Tech Handbooka crowdsourced resource for technologists that curates things related to the coronavirus outbreak.

The availability of ventilators and CPAP equipment is a key concern for healthcare systems in responding to COVID-19. Below are some links relating to ventilator and CPAP design and production:

  • MHRA specification for ‘minimally acceptable’ ventilator designs: specification of the minimally (and some preferred options) clinically acceptable ventilator to be used in UK hospitals during the current COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus. It sets out the clinical requirements based on the consensus of what is ‘minimally acceptable’ performance in the opinion of the anaesthesia and intensive care medicine professionals and medical device regulators. It is for devices, which are most likely to confer therapeutic benefit on a patient suffering with ARDS caused by SARS-CoV-2, used in the initial care of patients requiring urgent ventilation. A ventilator with lower specifications than this is likely to provide no clinical benefit and might lead to increased harm, which would be unacceptable for clinicians.
  • Open Source Ventilator:  A website for engineers, designers, medical professionals, and communities to generate and validate ideas for open source designs of ventilators that can be produced at scale and made available for use by clinical staff to save lives and aid the recovery of COVID19 patients. Click here to learn more.

If you have any suggestions for other activities/projects that could be added to this list, please email them to



University of Cambridge response:

Researchers across the University are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, find out how other departments are providing support


You can also read the report by IfM's Policy Links Unit completed for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) which reviews international policy responses aimed at mitigating the potential impacts of COVID-19 on manufacturing. 



In the news

Here are some recent news items relating to engineering and manufacturing projects that are helping address COVID-19 challenges - including examples of the multiple practical issues that need to be addressed before use in a hospital (e.g. certification, sterilisation, IP, et al.):

You can also stay up-to-date with the how the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting manufacturing on The Manufacturer website




For further information please contact:

Tim Minshall

T: +44 (0)1223 766141


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