Innovative research, design expertise and equipment to support NHS Wales – UWTSD’s ATiC and CBM Wales

University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) innovative research and design centres ATiC and CBM Wales are providing intensive support for a newly established consortium – SWARM (The South Wales Additive and Rapid Manufacturing Consortium) in its mission to support NHS Wales’ covid-19 response.

SWARM is chaired by Roger Evans MBE and run by TechHub Swansea co-founder Paul Harwood, which reports directly to Industry Wales.

As the crisis grows, the NHS in South Wales is treating an increasing number of patients in response to covid-19 and needs additional supplies in key areas such as patient ventilators and staff personal protective equipment (PPE). SWARM has been set up to coordinate available industry, manufacturing and design capacity, in South Wales, to support the NHS supply chain.

In launching their first campaign, to source a specific type of protective mask, FP3 masks and protective face visors, SWARM’s Paul Harwood said: “Are you a company who has FP3 masks that can go to our hospitals? Are you a designer who has a great idea for a protective visor and can make and donate some? If you are, we want to hear from you. SWARM can coordinate your ideas, supplies and donations and get them safely and efficiently into the NHS to help. Go on to our webpage and register your donation, we will connect your offers of support with the Health Boards and get things moving.”

A dedicated team of Designers and Engineers from ATiC (Assistive Technologies Innovation Centre) and CBM (Centre for Batch Manufacturing) at UWTSD is working around the clock on a number vital project to support NHS front line delivery. The University has also put its Advanced Manufacturing Academy on standby to provide whatever support is necessary.

Professor Ian Walsh, ATiC Director said: “In the face of this unprecedented global crisis I’m proud that my colleagues have risen to the challenge of supporting our NHS by providing crucial support in such a direct and immediate way. ATiC is part of UWTSD’s Wales Institute of Science and Art and has a demonstrable track-record in providing practice-based research and development to support medical companies and healthcare related charities. We’re drawing upon this experience to provide all necessary support for SWARM.”

Professor Robert Brown, CBM Wales Director said: “The key challenge facing Wales’ manufacturing sector is to mobilise rapidly and efficiently to meet the urgency of the situation. This is a unique crisis and we have to work together to provide the right equipment at the right time and in the right place to support our NHS heroes. This is why the work of SWARM and Industry Wales is so essential.”

Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor said: “The University is proud that we can offer the services of our innovative research and design teams during these unprecedented times to support NHS Wales’ covid-19 response. These are powerful coalitions that make a difference, an aim that is at the heart of the University’s innovation strategy. Never has this been as important as it is in this context of empowering others and offering support with resilience and personal wellbeing central to our decisions.”

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