The coronavirus pandemic has shown once again that design and engineering are drivers of change and innovation. In recent weeks, many Elisava Alumni have been placing their experience, knowledge and resources at the service of the fight against COVID-19.
Due to the shortage of medical supplies, different projects have been launched to supply hospitals. In this sense, 3D printing has positioned itself as one of the most effective practices to provide solutions in a record time.
Crowdfundings to finance medical supplies to protect from COVID-19
The digital manufacturing and 3D design company, ADDIT·ION, led by the Alumni Saulo Armas and Ignasi Sagré, has started a crowdfunding to cover the costs of designing new products in 3D printing for hospital use, as well as for the design and optimization of pieces for the conversion of existing products into PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) protection material. For example, working alongside with the 3Digital Factory, they have converted a Decathlon snorkel mask into a PPE used at the Quirón Salud Hospital in Madrid.
Another open crowdfunding is the LibreGuard project, a protection screen that can be produced in large quantities using only a laser cutter. Behind the project we find a network of more than 30 professionals, including Elisava's professor Raul Nieves and the Alumni David Haro and Javier Notivol.
Low cost homologated respirators
Respirators have also become products of special need in recent weeks. Celera, a national network of young talent that includes the Alumni Edgar Pons, is behind the creation of The Open Ventilator, a health-approved artificial respirator designed to help COVID-19 patients with severe respiratory difficulties. The device is low cost and has a scalable production, so it is can be used when other suitable alternatives are not available.
Likewise, there are many other Alumni who contribute to supply hospitals and health centers by joining initiatives already underway. This is the case of Humbert Claramunt, who has joined the Coronavirus Makers group in his region, Osona, to manufacture visors and other demanded PPE with his own printer.
Kits and robots for the disinfection of spaces and protection elements
Disinfection is another of the needs that must be addressed these days. The startup MTS Tech, co-founded by the Alumni Maria Visa, has developed a robot that, through ultraviolet light, detects the spaces infected by COVID-19 and disinfects them. In the field of disinfection, also the Frolic Studio in Amsterdam, where the Alumni Ismael Velo works, has created a decontamination toolkit to extend the life of masks and other protection elements. The kit uses the disinfecting properties of UVC rays and can be assembled with standard elements that do not exceed 50€ in total.
Real-time maps and initiatives against gender violence
With the aim of fighting COVID-19 and its related problems, other initiatives have also emerged in the fields of communication or design thinking. This is the case of the Alumni Rocío García Ramos, who, through her company Dinngo, has set up the real coronavirus Map, a social innovation project that was born with the idea of helping to define the real extent of COVID-19 in Spain. The difference with other similar initiatives lies in its simplicity, since it is a web platform that does not violate user privacy and does not require the need to download or create a profile.
With the confinement of the population, there are already existing problems that have worsened, such as that of gender-based violence. The Alumni Roberto Castro, through the agency Gete Comunicación, has created the campaign #YoMeQuedoEnCasa #PeroÉlTambién: a call to society to support our neighbors who suffer gender violence by reporting it to the competent authorities.