Bangor University & Santander Universities supporting People Power for PPE
Santander Universities are supporting Bangor University and the region to create free PPE. The support comes in the form of a welcome £4,500 to help a community of local makers, businesses and individuals to design, 3D print, and assemble visor shields which are then distributed for free to medical staff and carers in North Wales.
Santander Universities, as part of their ongoing support to Bangor University during the COVID-19 crisis, are matching the £4,500 raised by a community network to design, print, assemble and distribute free visor shields for medical staff and carers in North Wales. This forms part of an overall pot of £4.5million of funding that Santander UK is providing to its 85 university partners across the UK to support the array of initiatives launched by universities to contribute to the national effort to combat the outbreak of COVID-19.
In a truly community effort, a network of makers, students, businesses, academia, health bodies and many more have come together to support care workers, making remarkable progress over the last few weeks. Bangor University and its Science Park, M-SParc, are playing an important convening role with over 6,000 pieces of PPE having now been produced and distributed free of charge to the end user.
The generous Santander Universities match will enable this network to buy more materials and scale up the operation to ensure coverage across the region. In particular, it will add injection moulding, significantly enhancing the production line for the protective visor shields.
Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities, said:
“Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK so we’re pleased that our funding is able to be redirected to where it is most needed at this critical time. Universities are doing some fantastic work to contribute to the UK’s effort to combat the outbreak of COVID-19, so we’re delighted to collaborate with our university partners in a way which increases their response effort and look forward to continuing to work with them on supporting both students and the broader higher education community with further initiatives over the coming months.”
Prof. Paul Spencer, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Innovation, Engagement and Employability at Bangor University commented:
“Santander Universities generous support is invaluable in enabling this vital initiative supporting frontline health workers to move to the next level of activity. The timely match funding will enable us to respond rapidly to the growing need for the PPE in the region.
“Furthermore, there’s an important learning case study for our students on how to innovatively respond to a new need and using rapid prototyping processes to get a product adopted and into use.
Pryderi ap Rhisiart, Managing Director of M-SParc said;
“This community initiative has already demonstrated its worth and we are grateful for the additional support from Santander Universities which will allow the scale up of production at a critical juncture in the response to COVID-19.”
Going forward, Santander Universities and Bangor University are working on a new package of financial support for Student Entrepreneurs to help their businesses through this challenging period and details will be announced shortly. Santander Universities will also be supporting the upcoming COVID-19 Health Hack, the UK’s first and only online COVID19 Health Hack, which will provide an opportunity to develop innovative ideas for new products and services for the health and social care sectors.