Members of the Polish Space Industry Association (SPACE PL) have actively joined the fight against the pandemic. The companies used their technological experience and capacity to provide the Polish healthcare units with necessary equipment and devices. Some of them also received financial support.

„Space” full-face visors and masks in the fight against the pandemic

SENER Polska sp. z o.o., which designs and develops mechanisms for the largest missions of the European Space Agency, actively supported hospitals and social welfare institutions, offering them full-face visors. The company produced three batches of the visors, which were donated to the Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of Interior in Warsaw, the Home of the Senior Doctors in Warsaw, as well as the social welfare homes in Ciechanów and Włocławek.

Creotech Instruments SA, which usually is a manufacturer and supplier of appreciated precise measuring instruments for research institutes, manufactured such devices as visors, brackets to disposable masks, boxes to safe intubation, and adapters to filters. They were delivered to the hospitals in Lublin, Radom, Krakow, Gdansk, and other smaller towns in the frame of the „Mask for Medic” campaign. Materials for the production of the above-mentioned equipment were provided to the company by another member of our Association – Semicon sp.z o.o. The company is the biggest laser modules producer and a distributor of electronic and optoelectronic components. It provided over 100 kg of 3D filaments – PLA and ABS to the following institutions: Warsaw University of Technology, the Science and Technology Park in Opole, Mr. Kamil Legut (as a part of the Opole campaign “For medical workers”) and the above-mentioned Creotech. The number of donated materials was 100 kg. The materials were used not only for the production of visors but also for other products, such as special adapters to masks, modified half-masks, or diving masks. The last ones are an interesting solution especially. They protect medical workers against viruses and bacteria when talking with other people.

Nowadays, simple visors are produced on 3D printers. This technology was used also by other companies, such as Astronika sp. z o.o., ITTI sp. z o.o., TechOcean sp. z o.o. or Blue Dot Solutions sp. z o.o. The first one – Astronika is a designer of penetrating and sampling devices, lock&release mechanisms, or ultra-light antenna systems. The company, in the frame of the employees’ initiative, purchased the material for printers and created elements to visors or adapters to mask’s filters. The number of the produced complete visors is 56 pieces (including 442 adapters). They were handed over to local healthcare coordinators. In turn, ITTI manufactured and distributed visors to hospitals in Poznań.

TechOcean reports, that donated 100 visors to the Jan Boży Independent Public Voivodeship Hospital in Lublin (they had been created on a template provided for free by the Czech company Prusa Research). TechOcean is a designer and producer of electronics, machinery, and devices.

Blue Dot Solutions manufactured and supplied over 100 visors and 50 mask adapters to the Tri-City medical facilities. Another member of the Association – Scanway sp.z o.o. (a specialist in vision systems, 3D measurements, and observation) provided the healthcare units with visors and a 3D print of the Materialize project (allows us to open the door without using hands). Additionally, the company tested the masks available on the market and selected those which protect us best. The tests are available on the company’s YouTube channel. Scanway was also involved in a campaign for thermographic measurement of body temperature at workplaces.

The healthcare units are not the only entities that received the support. The Territorial Defence Force received 1000 masks and 1000 pairs of protective gloves from PCO S.A., which is a producer of optoelectronic products and technological observation solutions for the army. The above-mentioned activities were completed by the Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation which is the organization that offers services for the aviation industry. The Institute’s laboratories were working for several weeks on the production of the protective materials for the Polish hospitals. Over 51,000 protective visors and 2,000 sets of adapters to masks from composite and additive technology were produced.

Airbus Poland S.A., an aircraft manufacturer and a designer of electrical harnesses, donated the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Puławy. The company’s Engineering Department designed adapters aimed at connecting special biological filters to masks (the hospital had received these masks from the military equipment). Moreover, a group of Airbus employees decided to donate blood. Almost 9 liters of blood was transferred to the hospital.

Thermographic cameras, transport solutions for drones or even cleaning devices

The companies did not focus on delivering visors, masks, or gloves. They helped also in a different way. For example, Komes sp.z o.o., a service provider in the field of engineering analyses and simulations, provided the Voivodship Specialist Hospital named J. Gromkowski in Wrocław with the FLIR thermographic camera for temperature monitoring. Another institution – the Independent Public Voivodship Hospital in Szczecin received camera branded as Thermal Expert.

The aforementioned Creotech informs us that it is currently working on the solutions for drones which will enable them to transport packages as well as monitor and carry out decontamination actions in cities. For this purpose, a system for planning, monitoring, and controlling flights named CreoScan is planned to be implemented. In turn, the Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation developed a prototype of a pressure respirator (WentILOT 1.0) to use it in crises.

The team of the company WiRan from Gdynia developed and produced (using a 3D printer) several dozen of overlays for door-handles. It enables people to restrict hand-handle contacts. The overlays were offered to the Pomeranian Science and Technology Park in Gdynia.

Another healthcare institution such as the Voivodship Ambulance Station in Zielona Góra received a washer-dryer from the company Hertz Systems Ltd. sp. z o.o. Now, any rescue team can independently wash uniforms and hazmat suits. Normally, Hertz Systems is a manufacturer of GPS devices possessing the SAASM cryptographic module which is dedicated to combating platforms and soldiers’ equipment.

Social welfare homes (DPS) is the next example of the organisation which received support from our companies. The ITTI employees collected PLN 3,000 and purchased about 1,000 bottles of mineral water, 800 gloves, and 400 protective masks. The staff was distributed to DPS-es at Konarskiego st. and Ugory st. in Poznań.

COVID Challenge – the platform of challenges and ideas

Very interesting activities were undertaken by both Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Science and the PR agency Planet Partners sp. z o.o. They organized the COVID Challenge campaign and created a special website aimed at determining the challenges and needs of the Polish healthcare system during the pandemic. Over 60 participants responded to the campaign including individuals, research teams, groups of innovators, and commercial companies. They presented proposals of innovative solutions – from improvised ideas of immediate use through ideas that require requiring refinement to ready-to-use tools that protect from infection.

The ideas were subjected to evaluation by experts of CBK, the Jagiellonian University and the Polish Centre for International Aid. The most promising and realistic solutions were presented on the website. We can find there among others prototypes of special respirators, breathing sets, masks with various functions, or mobile applications for health monitoring.

At the end, it is worth mentioning, that the company TS 2 SPACE sp. z o.o., was entered into the official registry of entities which are crucial for the state critical infrastructure. The registry was created by the Government Security Centre. TS 2 SPACE offers a wide range of services in the field of satellite telecommunications provided to entities of the strategic importance to the state security.