UCL supports worldwide dissemination of free-to-access manufacturing instructions for COVID-19 breathing aids

7 April 2020

Governments across the world, healthcare providers and device manufacturers can now request a free of charge licence to the design and manufacturing files of a breathing aid developed by UCL, UCLH and Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (Mercedes-AMG HPP) to support healthcare systems preparing for the COVID-19 pandemic.

UCL Business (UCLB – UCL’s commercialisation business), through its e-lucid express initiative, has published all the necessary files to build the UCL-Ventura breathing aid, bringing a much-needed solution for COVID-19 patients to other countries in record time.

The designs are now available for download on UCLB’s dedicated site for technologies tackling the pandemic: covid19research.uclb.com.

UCLB is also offering free access to the e-lucid licensing platform to any university or researcher in the world that wishes to license under controlled conditions technologies that could help battle, model or better understand the pandemic.

The hope is that the UCL-Ventura breathing aid is the first of many innovations tackling the pandemic to become available through the dedicated site covid19research.uclb.com and that other universities join this effort by making available their technologies related to COVID-19 on the e-lucid platform.

Dr Anne Lane, CEO, UCLB said: “The collaboration highlights the positive impact that academia, healthcare and industry can have working together to fight the world’s biggest challenges. The e-lucid platform has allowed UCLB to provide UCL researchers with a portal which allows them to disseminate COVID-19 related R&D outputs in an efficient and scalable manner, as we collectively all seek to tackle the challenges arising from this pandemic.”

Professor Rebecca Shipley, Director of UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering, said: “These life-saving devices are relatively simple to manufacture and can be produced quickly. We hope that, by making the blueprints publicly available, they can be used to improve the resilience of healthcare systems preparing for the COVID-19 pandemic globally. My thanks go to the brilliant engineers, clinicians and team at UCLB who have come together and made this happen at a pace that would be considered unimaginable under normal circumstances.”

Dr Celia Caulcott, Vice-Provost (Enterprise) at UCL, said: “The collaboration between the best minds at universities, industry, government and other innovative partners has never been more needed. This incredible achievement has been supported by the ability of all involved to work together and distribute key information through licensing, and shows how universities can support industry in piloting approaches to help fight the major challenges of the 21st century.”

Image Credit: James Tye / UCL


For more information:

Kelvin Morgan


+44 (0)7710 858023


About e-lucid

E-lucid is an online licensing platform that enables universities and academics to transact their non-exclusive intellectual property under commercial or academic use terms in a matter of seconds. White-labelled solutions have been implemented for world leading universities including UCL and the Universities of Washington, Edinburgh and Leeds amongst others.

About the UCL-Ventura Breathing Aid

The UCL-Ventura Breathing Aid is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) that helps COVID-19 patients with lung infections to breathe more easily. It was developed by engineers at UCL’s Institute of Healthcare Engineering, University College London Hospital and Formula One manufacturer, Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (Mercedes-AMG HPP).

The breathing aid, reverse engineered based on an off-patent device, was developed in a rapid timeframe, receiving MHRA regulatory approval only 10 days after engineers began work. The UK Government has placed an order for 10,000 of the devices. They’re now being produced at a rate of up to 1,000 a day at the HPP facility in Brixworth, Northamptonshire. This process can typically take up to months and years to complete.

About UCL Business Ltd (UCLB)

UCL Business Ltd (UCLB), part of UCL Innovation & Enterprise, is the commercialisation company for UCL. Working with UCL’s globally renowned faculties and associated hospitals; University College London Hospitals, Moorfields Eye Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Royal Free London Hospital, it brings together exceptional ideas, innovations and industry to benefit society and the economy.

UCLB’s track record of success includes over £1.5 billion raised in investment for UCL spinouts, and its Portico Ventures Programme is enabling the next wave of technology-based businesses to thrive in a fast-moving ecosystem. Its fund offerings –  Apollo Therapeutics (in partnership with leading UK universities and pharmaceutical companies), UCL Technology Fund, and Social Ventures fund – help to bring pioneering technologies from the laboratory to market, enabling academic entrepreneurs to tackle global challenges, from energy and engineering  to healthcare and the environment.

About UCL Innovation & Enterprise

UCL is one of the world’s top 10 universities, a powerhouse of academic excellence. A story less frequently told is its track record in working with industry, government, and other innovators. Partnerships that have generated many of the ground-breaking solutions and critical thought leadership required to address some of the most challenging problems facing society. Specialist teams at UCL Innovation & Enterprise, help make these partnerships happen.