Coronavirus: Dyson receives order for 10,000 ventilators from government

Engineers from British technology firm draw up designs for new machine in matter of days

Thursday 26 March 2020 02:19
Comments
An image issued by Dyson of their proposed CoVent ventilator on a hospital bed
An image issued by Dyson of their proposed CoVent ventilator on a hospital bed

The government has ordered 10,000 medical ventilators designed at breakneck speed by vacuum maker Dyson, founder James Dyson has said, as the country tries to boost the number of devices available to treat coronavirus patients.

The prime minister, in anticipation of cases peaking in Britain in coming weeks, had made an urgent appeal to manufacturers to supply the National Health Service and would also use devices from private hospitals and other sources.

“We have received an initial order of 10,000 units from the UK Government which we will supply on an open-book basis,” James Dyson said on Wednesday in an email to staff seen by Reuters.

“We are also looking at ways of making it available internationally.”

The government did not comment on the Dyson email.

Britain had been in talks with over 3,000 businesses about supplying ventilators to quickly increase the health service’s capacity, prime minister Boris Johnson‘s spokesman said earlier on Wednesday.

But he stressed that any design would need regulatory approval.

The country’s existing stock of about 5,000-8,000 ventilators is inadequate if cases jump as predicted. The number of coronavirus deaths in Britain rose by 41 to 465 on Wednesday.

Mr Dyson said since receiving a call from Mr Johnson 10 days ago, a large team of engineers at his company had worked solidly to design and build an entirely new ventilator, The CoVent.

It deployed its expertise in air movement, motors, power systems, manufacturing and supply chain gained from its products like air purifiers and fans as well as cleaners to develop the ventilator from scratch.

The company, which revolutionised the vacuum cleaner market with its bagless cyclonic device in the 1990s, said it would work with regulators and government to ensure that the product and the manufacturing process was approved.

Mr Dyson said it was “clearly a time of grave international crisis”, and he would therefore donate 5,000 units to the international effort, 1,000 of which would go to the United Kingdom.

Separately, British engineer Babcock International Group Plc said it had joined forces with a leading medical equipment company to design and supply thousands of critical care ventilators.

A number of other firms had joined forces to potentially develop and manufacture a ventilator, including Airbus, Smiths Group Plc, Ford Motor Co and McLaren.

Reuters had reported earlier that British industry expected the government to give the go-ahead for an emergency ventilator production plan on Wednesday.

Reuters

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in