Product development and FFP2 masks: from emergency production for UZA to the industrial scale

Date: 12 June 2020

Introduction: UAntwerp lays foundations for producing specialised face masks in Belgium.

Major shortage of personal protective equipment: it has been a recurring theme throughout the corona crisis. But from now on, UZA healthcare workers will have access to a steady supply of FFP2 masks, manufactured in the heart of Antwerp by product developers at the University of Antwerp.

In early March, even before the lockdown began in Belgium, Prof. Erika Vlieghe (UZA/UAntwerp) sounded the alarm. The current chair of the GEES (the group of experts for the exit strategy) warned that our country was facing an impending shortage of the advanced FFP2 and FFP3 masks, which are used primarily in the healthcare sector. Her alarm did not go unheard by the product developers at the University of Antwerp. Jouke Verlinden, Stijn Verwulgen and Regan Watts, along with a number of PhD students, took immediate action at the Antwerp Design Factory (ADF).

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