Industrial conversion during the Covid-19 crisis

From arms, planes and racing cars to ventilators

The speed of onset of the Covid-19 pandemic left numerous countries reeling in early 2020. One consequence was that governments scrambled to acquire medical ventilators to treat the most seriously ill – and were faced with the prospect of major equipment shortages. To help tackle the problem, crash programmes to rapidly scale up ventilator production were pursued. This presentation looks at the UK experience – where engineering companies in sectors such as military technology, aerospace, and Formula 1 motor racing partnered with the medical technology sector to try to meet the demand. We’ll look at the successes and the failures – and what lessons can be learned for other necessary industrial transitions, such as those aimed at tackling the climate emergency and the serious ethical problems of the arms industry.

Presentation by Dr Stuart Parkinson, SGR, at the SGR conference, Transition Now

7 November 2020

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Download pdf of powerpoint presentation


[image credit: Gerd Altmann via Pixabay]


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