Cambridge companies rush to build fans for NHS


The NHS is in desperate need of ventilators to treat patients with coronaviruses, and several Cambridge companies are working overtime to make more to meet demand.

TTP, based at Melbourn Science Park, is working with Dyson to develop fans.

The companies worked “24 hours a day” to develop a fan, according to billionaire inventor Sir James Dyson.

In addition, Cambridge Consultants, PA Consulting, Sagentia, Team Consulting and MetLase are also working on their own fan designs.

All working to government specifications, the companies work on separate designs, but work closely together to support each other.

But it’s a huge technical challenge.

Businesses undergo a development process that would normally take five to six years and attempt to deliver within five to six weeks.

Work on the TTP / Dyson ventilator, dubbed CoVent, will include the use of vacuum cleaner components and prototype tests on pig lungs, ITV News reported.

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The company is waiting for the design, based on Dyson air purifiers, to receive regulatory approval before manufacturing can begin.

The new ventilator must be safe, efficient, portable, mounted on the bed, does not require a fixed and efficient air supply to conserve oxygen, said Sir James.

It is battery powered, so it can be used in different environments, including field hospitals and when patients are transported.

The fans needed for the device are already available in “very high volume,” a company spokesperson said.

Dyson CoVent ventilator on a hospital bed

In an email to staff, Sir James said that 5,000 would be donated to the international relief effort.

He also said that the government had placed an order for 10,000, although the number 10 said that all ventilators should be tested by health officials before making purchases.

A Dyson spokesperson said, “Dyson has responded to the government’s request for help with its Covid-19 response by focusing its resources on the design and manufacture of a fan for the NHS.

“This is a very complex project undertaken in an extremely difficult time.

“We have deployed expertise in air movement, engines, power systems, manufacturing and the supply chain and are working with technology and medical development company TTP, The Technology Partnership, based in Cambridge.

“Together, we have worked around the clock and over the past two weekends to develop a meaningful and timely response.

“We are leading the development of fully regulated medical devices, including laboratory and human tests, and we are increasing the volume.”

Billionaire entrepreneur James Dyson said “the race is on” to put into production a new ventilator specially designed for the coronavirus pandemic.

New designs are unlikely to be ready in the coming months – and the peak is expected to hit the UK in the coming weeks.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been criticized for not participating in an EU program to increase the number of fans.

Critics have said the government is putting Brexit ideology above demands for essential equipment.

“Given the widespread concerns about our ventilation capacity and the urgent need to increase this capacity, we must cooperate through international programs to ensure that we get those pieces of equipment that we desperately need,” said Jonathan Ashworth, Assistant Secretary for Occupational Health.

Liberal Democrats interim leader Ed Davey added: “There is no reasonable justification for Boris Johnson’s refusal to participate in the purchase of fans by the EU.

“Let’s be clear: getting more fans in our NHS will save lives. Why did the Prime Minister not set aside his views on Brexit, given this crisis? “

After the backlash, Minister Michael Gove said the government’s failure to adhere to the EU program which would have provided the UK with more fans was due to “communication confusion”.

We will update our website every day to cover the good and positive stories from communities across Cambridgeshire right now. Be sure to visit to show the amazing NHS how much we all appreciate their hard work.


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