Innovation & Collaboration at Speed
April 29, 2020
Alex Basso
2 minutes

As the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggests, the Coronavirus outbreak has been the ‘worst public health crisis for a generation’. Across the world, COVID-19 has forced economies and companies to rapidly adapt their ways of working in line with government guidelines.

With all that is happening, it is fantastic to see companies that are able to help doing exactly that. In this article we share some examples of companies that have rapidly adapted to the crisis, changing business models, collaborating with competitors or innovating overnight to help the global fight against this virus.

The British automotive supercars manufacturer based at the McLaren Technology Centre in Surrey, UK, is helping with the development of mobile respiratory devices to protect frontline NHS staff.

In a matter of weeks McLaren has assembled British-based teams in charge of designing and producing respiratory devices for use by the National Health Service. 

The company is using its technology and expertise to develop a respiratory device which delivers clean air through a HEPA filter from a battery powered fan pack mounted on a belt.

This is a great example of a tech company with the capacity to innovate at speed when necessary.

Inditex, owner of the retail chain Zara has been adapting and innovating since the beginning of the pandemic, despite being one of the biggest companies in the world.

In March Inditex announced that it would donate face masks and look into producing hospital gowns from its factories for coronavirus patients and healthcare professionals in Spain.

Inditex planned on letting the Spanish government use its factories and logistics teams to help produce medical supplies amid the national shortage. Moreover, it has been effective in transforming its textile factories into medical supply manufacturers in a matter of days.

In April, the automotive company Ford India announced the design, development & manufacture of face shields from their factories at Sanand & Chennai. These face shields are to be distributed among doctors, paramedics and emergency staff working on the front line.

Moreover, the company is following up with a global COVID-19 Donation Match program to raise $ 1 million in aid for groups battling the pandemic across the globe. Employees have the opportunity to donate to non-profits and other organisations to support their efforts in meeting the coronavirus-related needs of more than 20 countries around the world.

The UK Government made an order of 10,000 ventilators to support patients of the coronavirus pandemic. Through a call from the Prime Minister in March, Dyson was tasked with ventilator design and production, and have had engineers working on the project ever since.

The company partnered with Cambridge-based science engineering firm TTP to design and produce the ventilator as quickly as possible. 

The new ventilator had to be safe, effective and efficient in conserving oxygen and portable. This battery-powered machine had to be designed for use in different settings including field hospitals and for patients being transported. 

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Technology and innovation are intrinsically linked. This current crises is proving that companies who adopt the right mindset are capable of successfully innovating and collaborating at speed.

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