Engineering and Manufacturing businesses based in the Isle of Man have been stepping up to support the local and international response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses active across sectors such as aerospace, oil and gas, and ceramics have been turning their expertise to designing and producing essential medical equipment to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
Examples of the ways Manx companies are helping the cause include:
- Swagelok, international market leaders in valve design and pressure regulators, are producing component parts for respirators and ventilators for the global market.
- Moynihans and Jantys are producing essential parts for medical face mask production lines in the UK.
- Strix, RLC Group, and Cortech are providing direct engineering and manufacturing support to Noble’s hospital, including 3D printing of medical components and testing of face masks. In addition, they are progressing work with the ‘Charlotte Valve’ project, which progresses work started in Italy to enable full-face snorkel masks to be converted for use as emergency respirator masks during times of critical demand.
- Henson Ceramics are designing and building an oxygen generator and Ozone steriliser which has been proven to combat SARS. This is being adapted to tackle COVID-19.
In addition, other local companies have offered design, prototyping, and manufacture support.
Minister for Enterprise, Laurence Skelly MHK, commented:
’The Isle of Man has a proud history of innovative engineering and manufacturing and it is inspiring to see so many Manx businesses putting this expertise to use in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. On behalf of the Isle of Man Government and the Manx people, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to these organisations, and many others, who are going above and beyond to keep the Isle of Man’s medical facilities well-stocked and well-equipped to tackle this unprecedented threat.’
In the face of new demands and market trends, the Department for Enterprise has launched a Business Adaptation Grant, which will allow access to up to 50% match funding for businesses looking to adapt to provide alternative services in the current climate. Potential examples include alcohol producers switching to manufacture hand sanitiser and office businesses looking to expand work-from-home capability.