COVID-19 technology

The University of Oxford (@UniofOxford) was recognised at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (@TheIET) virtual E&T Innovation Awards ceremony yesterday.

As part of the UK Government Ventilator Challenge and in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a rapid design and manufacture low cost ventilator was created by the University of Oxford. The OxVent was designed, tested and manufactured by a group of doctoral students, professors, clinicians and industry partners at the university, Kings College London and Smith & Nephew.

With the aim to rapidly upscale the critical care infrastructure to meet the projected patient requirement for the pandemic, the team were able to test and distribute an easy to manufacture ventilator solution for COVID-19. OxVent is a bag valve mask in a box to generate a ‘bag in bottle’ ventilator, powered by compressed air. Gas is injected into the box by a solenoid valve that displaces an equal volume of air to ventilate to the patient. The ventilator utilises a closed loop control mechanism to safely regulate delivered gas volumes.

Winning the Small Idea, Big Impact: Global Challenge prize at the awards, the OxVent system has demonstrated the capability of academia and industry working in unison to generate an effective solution to meet a problem facing society in an extremely short timescale.

IET President, Professor Danielle George said:

“There has never been a more important time to recognise and celebrate the innovations that are bringing about real change and are helping to solve the global challenges we face today. In these uncertain times, we need innovators and creative minds from across all sectors to work together to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These annual awards celebrate the achievements of the most outstanding innovations across engineering and technology. The finalists this year all demonstrate the imagination of engineers worldwide and we are so proud to show our support for these exceptional minds. A huge congratulations to all our winners.”

Bethany Koby, Co-founder and CEO of Technology Will Save Us won the top prize, the E&T Leader of the Year Award, for her successful education toy company that produces kits on coding and related tech skills.

A full list of the 2020 E&T Innovation Award winners:

  • E&T Leader of the Year: Bethany Koby, Co-Founder and CEO of Technology Will Save Us - a successful education toy company that produces kits revolving around coding and related tech skills.
  • Best Diversity & Inclusion Impact: Oldalone UK for Click & Connect 4 All – an initiative for the development of digital skills for the elderly.
  • Excellence in Cyber Security: BT for Mobius – the simulation of Malware for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.
  • Excellence in Intelligent Systems: Shadow Robot for The Tactile Telerobot - the world's first smart haptic telerobot hand.
  • Excellence in Model-Based Engineering: Ocado Technology for DASH Simulations – a combination of state-of-the-art simulations, AI and digital twin techniques to create robotic automated warehouses.
  • Excellence in R&D: Shadow Robot for The Tactile Telerobot - the world's first smart haptic telerobot hand.
  • Excellence in Smarter World: University of Portsmouth and Chailey Heritage Foundation for smart technology to enhance the use of powered wheelchairs using intelligent systems.
  • Future Unicorn: Magway for Magway pipes delivering the future today – sustainable delivery technology.
  • Outstanding Innovation in Communications & IT: Darwin College, University of Cambridge for Jade: an AI-enabled low-cost digital stethoscope.
  • Outstanding Innovation in Digital Health and Social Care: University of Portsmouth and Chailey Heritage Foundation for smart technology to enhance the use of powered wheelchairs using intelligent systems.
  • Outstanding Innovation in Future Power & Energy: Freedom an NG Bailey company for POC-MAST – technology created to offer a fast, safe, reliable and cost-effective means of connecting new projects to the grid network, and its application by UK Power Networks in a solar farm project.
  • Outstanding Innovation in Manufacturing 4.0: 3D Microfluidics LLC for Hybrid Laser Printing
  • Small Idea, Big Impact: Global Challenge: University of Oxford, Kings College London, Smith & Nephew for The OxVent - a rapid design and manufacture low cost Ventilator for COVID - 19
  • Visionary Award for Protecting Society & Saving Lives: JHubMed, Defence Medical Academy, Microsoft and KBR for Mixed Reality Clinical Trainer (MRCT) - simulating complex chemical poisoning symptoms in Military training.
  • Visionary Award for Sustainable Planet: Williams Advanced Engineering, Aerofoil Energy for F1 inspired technology helping to reduce CO2 emissions in UK supermarkets.
  • Judges Award: TechforGood: Shadow Robot for The Tactile Telerobot - the world's first smart haptic telerobot hand.

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