With only roughly three weeks to prepare submissions, EIT Manufacturing received short of 70 high quality proposals from more than 20 countries covering both actions.
In May 2020, EIT Manufacturing launched a dedicated call for:
- Targeted venture support to high impact and growth potential manufacturing scale-ups and SMEs to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and adapt/accelerate to post crisis economic reality
- Pandemic response activities with the potential to make a significant short-term impact addressing manufacturing related challenges related to the pandemic
As part of the EIT Crisis Response Initiative, this activity directly contributes to the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following a very positive assessment of the relevance & quality of the call and selection processes, EIT Manufacturing was granted EUR 3.3 million to implement the two actions. The funding share will be roughly EUR 2.3 million for the venture support and EUR 1 million for the pandemic response activities.
As a first step in allocating the funding, EIT Manufacturing has selected three promising pandemic response projects that directly tackle manufacturing related challenges: developing solutions for safe working conditions & smart medical devices. The projects will generate immediate impact as the implementation will take place already in 2020 with a duration of six months for each project. A total of 14 organisations across four European countries will work on these projects to respond to COVID-19 challenges.
Details about the EIT Manufacturing’s support for start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs, which is also part of EIT’s crisis response initiative will be announced on 21 July.
Three promising manufacturing innovations to tackle pandemic
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, manufacturing companies have been faced with two major short-term challenges: How to ensure safe working conditions for their employees, and how to rapidly produce affordable and smart medical equipment.
The review of the proposals was carried out by a panel of independent experts from the manufacturing industry. Out of 20 Pandemic Response projects proposals received, EIT Manufacturing selected three based on their impact and business potential: solution to reduce airborne contaminants in the air, practical applications to alert shop floor employees of social distancing measures, and a new easy to manufacture pneumatic ventilator.
We are convinced that the selected projects have a real potential to deliver results for short-term response but also provide innovative solutions in the longer-term
Jean-François DUROCH, Innovation Director, EIT Manufacturing
Innovations for safe workspaces and smart medical equipment
Out of the three ideas that will be supported by supported by EIT Manufacturing, two ensure safe public spaces, and one addresses ventilator shortage with a new simple, air-powered solution.
CleanAIR: A cost effective, mobile air cleaner for public and private use. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets, which air conditioning systems need to have enough fresh air intake. In some cases, it’s not possible to update existing air conditioning system or install new devices to fulfil the requirements. CleanAIR therefore proposes a solution to safely nebulize disinfectants to purify the air, including the development of a control unit for monitoring, cleaning and disinfection strategies. The system is expected to run in cleaning mode during daytime and spread disinfectants with higher airflow at night. The project is led by EIT Manufacturing’s Partner TU Wien (Institute for Production Engineering and Photonic Technologies at the Technical University of Vienna), together with an Austrian and German consortium, including the Austrian Institute of Technology, HPM GmbH, AQA GmbH, TBB BAUER&BAUER GmbH.
Activity budget: EUR 335 600
Innov-Ventilator: Addressing ventilator shortage with a design of a new purely pneumatic, i.e. air-powered ventilator: simple, safe to operate and easy to manufacture, and upgradable with common sensors and display technologies. The INNOV-Ventilator project is led by EIT Manufacturing’s Partner Tecnalia together with a Spanish and German consortium consisting of TU Graz, Carl Reiner, WILD, University Hospital of Cologne from Germany and Osakidetza and Biocruces Bizkaia Health Institute, Spain.
Activity budget: EUR 329 400
PanTrack: A proposal for an automated system to ensure security measures are maintained using motion tracking technologies. The system monitors motion of humans and objects in production areas like factory floors or co-working spaces with pragmatic direct feedback to worker to facilitate adoption. The PanTrack System helps prevent unnoticed chains of infection and the closure of businesses and manufacturing facilities; it aims at supporting the recovery of European (and global) economy and providing a rapid response to future threats of similar nature. The project is led by EIT Manufacturing’s Partner TU Braunschweig, Germany in cooperation with Arduino, Switzerland.
Activity budget: EUR 296 300
The EIT Crisis Response Initiative launched in May 2020 consists of two main tracks of activities to be implemented by the EIT’s eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities across Europe: Venture Support Instrument for start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and another track, aiming identifying and supporting promising Pandemic Response Projects addressing the COVID-19 crisis directly.