During this COVID-19 crisis, the risk of a shortage of face masks is a major concern, especially in the healthcare sector. In light of the desperate need for emergency production of protective equipment for healthcare workers, the Product Development programme of the Faculty of Design Sciences rose to the challenge. 

A team of twelve product developers, consisting of professors and a few PhD students, founded the Antwerp Design Factory. Together, they are now working around the clock to develop advanced FFP2 and FFP3 face masks.

They have designed a high-quality mask with unique characteristics, such as an exhalation valve. The prototype is being tested extensively with the support of UZA specialists, epidemiologists and microbiologists. As soon as these advanced face masks are ready for use, the University of Antwerp aims to produce 10,000 units per week.