Tech Transfer eNews Blog

U of Minnesota enables manufacturers to use COVID-19 ventilator designs free of charge

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 24th, 2020

The University of Minnesota (UMN) has released design requirements that will enable non-medical manufacturers to produce a COVID-19 ventilator developed at the university.

The Coventor is intended to assist healthcare professionals in treating COVID-19 patients. UMN is offering an open source license agreement that will allow anyone to begin producing the ventilator without paying for the design requirements or a licensing fee.

“This particular case with COVID-19, it was all about just getting [the designs] out there,” comments Rick Huebsch, executive director for technology commercialization at UMN. “Basically we said, ‘We will do what we can to get these technologies out there, and we’re not going to let licensing get in the way of saving people’s lives.’”

More than 60 manufacturers have taken up the open source license, including Appareo, an electronics manufacturer based in North Dakota. According to Appareo CEO Eva Blanchard, before the pandemic, her company rarely made products that weren’t from in-house designs.

“The open license design was very new. That was not something we had done before,” says Blanchard. “We basically put all of our other projects on hold to be able to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. And we shifted probably half of our workforce over to start working on getting this product up and running and ready to produce.”

Huebsch adds, “The whole culture of cooperation was the underpinnings for all of this. Making the decision to basically give it away and have a quicker impact was a decision that people came to very early on.”

Source: Minnesota Daily

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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