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Unilever joins consortium which will make ventilators for UK hospitals


We’ve joined Ventilator Challenge UK – a collective which is helping to address the coronavirus crisis by manufacturing much-needed ventilators

A scientist testing a ventilator at one of the companies producing equipment for the UK Ventilator Challenge consortium.

Unilever has joined forces with businesses from the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors in a consortium which has received formal orders from the government to make in excess of 10,000 ventilators for use in UK hospitals.

The purpose of the consortium is to support the production of additional medical ventilators needed to treat Covid-19 patients in the UK.

We’re lending our engineering expertise to the Ventilator Challenge UK consortium – a collective which includes Unilever partner McLaren F1, Airbus, Ford Motor Company, Rolls-Royce, GKN, Penlon and Siemens among many more. We’re also bringing in our partner Microsoft for IT support.

Last week the consortium agreed to combine resources to make urgently needed ventilators for intensive care units, so they can treat an influx of patients suffering from breathing difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic.

Unilever is supporting the consortium with the co-ordination of the complex multi-tiered supply network and providing visibility of overall supply chain health and key risks. We’re able to do so by applying our digital tech to analyse key data metrics.

“Bringing together some of the most innovative companies in the world”

Accelerated production of an agreed design, based on existing technology, is already underway.

As well as deploying some of our brilliant people to work on this important project, Unilever is also supplying hand sanitisers and cleaning products for the production sites involved.

Manufacturing executive Dick Elsy, who is leading the initiative, said: “This consortium brings together some of the most innovative companies in the world. Every day, their highly skilled staff collaborate to create solutions that help millions of people, and this project is no different.

“They are working together with incredible determination and energy to scale up production of much-needed ventilators and combat a virus that is affecting people in many countries. I am confident this consortium has the skills and tools to make a difference and save lives.”

Image shows a scientist testing a ventilator at Smiths Medical, one of the companies producing equipment as part of the UK Ventilator Challenge consortium.

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