The McLaren Group is ready to put its collective know-how to good use in the fight against the coronavirus. That’s why the British automotive conglomerate has joined up with the VentilatorChallengeUK to help produce medical ventilators for the UK.
The group—which includes McLaren Automotive, McLaren Racing team and McLaren Applied Technologies—announced that it was joining to consortium in a press release sent out on Monday. The conglomerate hopes it can play a small but vital part in helping scale production of desperately needed ventilators in the country and make sure that those who need access to the device get it.
Each part of the McLaren Group will play a different role in the production process. The automaker will design bespoke trolleys for the ventilators and will help produce the devices as well. Its Formula One team has converted its “machine shop” to manufacture parts and is working with suppliers to better source much-needed components. Meanwhile, the group’s electronic division will help develop and build testing equipment to make sure that each ventilator is up to task.
The VentilatorChallengeUK consortium is chaired by Dick Elsy, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and plans to build and deliver over 10,000 ventilators to hospitals around the UK. The consortium’s brand-new ventilator design meets specifications and is scheduled to go into production next week. Other companies contributing to the effort include Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Unilever.
“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,” Elsy said. “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.”
Covid-19 attacks the lung and can cause acute respiratory distress, making ventilators and access to them essential to recovery in the virus’s severest cases. VentilatorChallengeUK’s 10,000-device initiative comes as companies around the world have begun to commit resources to the production of the ventilators during the crisis. Last week, British company Dyson pledged to build 15,000 ventilators for the country, while in the US, American companies Ford and GE have are now working to produce 50,000 of the medical devices over the next 100 days.