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Research and innovation

Equipment and manufacturing

Addressing the need for hospital and personal protective equipment

Commission activity in this field

Protecting healthcare workers, patients and the general public is crucial to preserving lives and preventing the spread of disease, from personal protective equipment (PPE) to smart ways to isolate and transport patients.


New projects

2nd Horizon 2020 call for expression of interest (August 2020)

In May 2020, the Commission launched a second emergency call, through which €128.2 million were awarded to 23 projects. In March 2021, a 24th project was added from the reserve list, bringing total funding to €133.4 million. The 24 research projects involve 354 teams from 39 countries across Europe and beyond.

Among these, 4 projects are receiving a total of €22.1 million for Rapid Repurposing of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment:


Injection Moulding Repurposing for Medical Supplies enabled by Additive Manufacturing. Led by National technical University of Athens (EL). The imPURE project will develop the EU's ability to enable injection moulding facilities to produce medical equipment via additive manufacturing within 48h, through rapidly making modular moulds with interchangeable inserts, taking into account the potential disruption of supply chains.


Adaptive and resilient production and supply chain methods and solutions for urgent need of vital medical supplies and equipment, led by SZTAKI - Institute for Computer Science and Control (HU)


Repurposing manufacturing lines for providing medical and other products and services in case of spiking demand times. Led by Centre Scientifique & Technique de l’Industrie Textile Belge (BE).


EUropean Vital Medical Supplies and Equipment Resilient and Reliable Repurposing Manufacturing as a Service NetworK for Fast PAndemic Reaction. Eur3ka focuses on helping the manufacturing and health care industries respond quickly and efficiently to current and future major medical crises. To this end Eur3ka is working on facilitating the framework, knowledge and technological assets which will enable European governments and industry to carry out smart investments in more resilient manufacturing networks that can be quickly repurposed. Currently Eur3ka is developing the Digital Factory Alliance, an initiative to create a community for manufacturing repurposing bringing together public authorities, digital and manufacturing industries. Led by Engineering Ingegneria Informatica Spa (IT)

EIT health rapid response programme (April 2020)

As part of its Rapid Response initiative in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, EIT-Health is supporting 15 short-term projects that focus on immediate and impactful solutions for a total of almost €7 million, with the participation of 41 partners. Among these, 3 projects are receiving €838,000 for the development of equipment:


The CAR3D group are using 3D printing to develop reusable masks and face shields that comply with EU specifications. With no proprietary patent, local Additive Manufacturers across Europe will be able to reproduce the designs. Led by Hospital Sant Joan de Déu (ES).

Long-Lasting Antiviral Polymers

The project team are developing disinfecting antiviral polymers that prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on common surfaces. Led by Technion (IL).


Using new technologies, Virushield is developing a high-performance fabric that is cheap, easily available, washable and reusable. The material will be used to make reusable masks that meet EU standards for protection during the pandemic. Led by Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) der RWTH Aachen University (DE).

Recent and ongoing projects


Led by the National Research Council of Italy the ASINA project aims to promote consistent, applicable and scientifically sound safe-by-design (SbD) nanotechnologies. Given the current Covid-19 emergency, ASINA will improve the design and validate nano-enabled technologies (nano-Ag, nano-TiO2, essential oils) along the entire value chain. Industrial, politician and public stakeholders will take advantage from the improved efficacy and sustainability of antiviral nanostructured coatings (reusable PPE or photocatalytic air filters for the sanitation of indoor environment); and nano-encapsulating systems carrying antiviral ingredients at liquid or powder state (lotion, spray, gels).


EpiShuttle is a hard-top (polycarbonate) reusable, single-patient isolation and transport system designed to provide maximum patient safety and comfort while allowing critical care and treatment to be performed. The EpiShuttle can protect the environment from an infected patient, or protect a vulnerable patient from a contaminated environment. The project is led by Norwegian company EpiGuard.


The project aims to recycle different type of plastic components to produce competitive, highly customised products at lower production costs. Its innovation is based on the new recycling routes. Extensive research has been already curried out for the recycling of common polymers used in everyday products. In response to the COVID-19 emergency, researchers of REPAIR3D project converted the use of the materials studied and the equipment and expertise obtained from the project to produce protective face shields to cover critical shortage in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in hospitals. Moreover, the recycling principles of Repair3D will be implemented in order to manage the end-of-life of all consumables produced, which have been design to be 100% recyclable, offering a new waste management route for products made from plastic. The recycled materials will be re-designed and re-shaped in order to make useful products for the hospitals through 3D printing. The project is led by Italian company Warrant Hub.


Knowledge and technologies in materials engineering and 3D printing of biodegradable plastics for medical applications developed within M3DLoC project have enabled a rapid response to address critical shortages in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for hospitals in Greece and contribute in our common effort against COVID-19. The project is led by the National Technical University of Athens.


Bio-Stand is an EMPIR project that has helped translate the work of previous European projects into ISO standards. These standards detail the requirements for making accurate biological measurements. This is important for in vitro diagnostic tests for respiratory infections, including COVID-19, as well as other diseases such as cancer. Led by National Measurement Laboratory (UK).


Metrology for drug delivery (MeDDII) is an EMPIR project that aims to provide hospitals and clinicians with information that can help them tackle issues with drug delivery practices under the currently challenging conditions. MeDDII has developed a new case study, report and flyer, which detail specific metrological and clinical physics advice on newly adopted COVID-19-related measures for drug delivery devices. Led by Instituto Português da Qualidade (Portugal).