Cross-border Hero Shield PPE manufacturing group gets €300,000 Co-Innovate funding

  • A cross-border group of 18 companies that has come together to produce face shields for health workers is getting a €300,000 boost from InterTradeIreland.

    InterTradeIreland's Co-Innovate initiative is providing €300,000 of funding to a cross-border group of 18 companies across Ireland and Northern Ireland to help benefit health workers across the island. The group has set up the not-for-profit Hero Shield Ltd company, which makes face visors for health workers to help meet the rising demand due to Covid-19.

    The idea for the group started on March 20th, with the firms involved repurposing their existing manfacturing facilities to produce face visors and now seeing orders of 70,000 visors per week from health workers. The group also raised £33,997 to manufacture PPE for health workers via crowdfunding.

    Northern Ireland's tech firms started providing similar help on their own as early as March 26th, when Belfast-based medical 3D printing specialist Axial3D started a collaborative initiative printing 3D parts for ventillators and visors. The group got other companies and local groups with 3D printing capacity on board to quickly deliver parts where they were needed.

    The 18 companies participating in the Hero Shield project includes NI firms Shnuggle Ltd, Crossen Engineering, Denroy Plastics, Minprint, Ad-Vance Engineering, and Queen’s University of Belfast. They are working with Cavan-based Xtru Pak and Dublin-based Glen Dimplex across the border, among others.

    Neil Ryan, InterTradeIreland’s Director of Co-Innovate, said: "Our key role was not only to help bring the group together, but also providing a financial lifeline. The partners have been running at their own cost, as working capital is vital for keeping this operation going for as long as it’s needed. Co-Innovate is providing €300,000 to help support their efforts and will continue to play a central role in coordinating the collective."

    Source: InterTradeIreland

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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