Grant win: Innovate UK
Updated: Jan 19
ActiveCell has won a £50,000 grant from HMG’s Innovate UK competition run by UK Research and Innovation thanks to submitting Project Florence Face Mask. Facing stiff competition from many other submissions, the winning proposal was a feasibility study into addressing the current shortage of respirators for frontline healthcare workers while simultaneously addressing the issue of existing respirators not fitting.
Project Florence - Face Mask proposes developing a mobile app able to generate a 3D scan of a face and back-end software automatically processing this data, converting it into a model for a respirator to be 3D printed which fits perfectly on the face.
A 3D printing farm can be used to print the respirators responsively and able to dynamically scale to whatever level of production is required. The long-term ambition proposed was for these capabilities and resources to be offered as an on-demand manufacturing service to be made available to both the NHS and general public.
Even before receiving the results of the feasibility proposal submission, we had concluded the prototyping stage of respirator design. This is due to the ability to quickly print and test different designs using the 3D printing farm. Development is now commencing on the mobile app which will provide the data from 3D face scans needed to customise the design of each mask to ensure a perfect, comfortable fit for every user.
“I’m excited the UK government sees the same amazing potential in Additive Manufacturing as us. It is a massive privilege to win this level of funding and because of it we look forward to turning into reality what was initially just a study. We are now able to aim bigger and be more ambitious than ever before. Being able to provide a perfectly-fitted, custom respirator mask to every NHS frontline worker who needs one is now our end goal and we are on track to achieving it.” – Steve Hammond, Project Florence - Face Mask Manager and ActiveCell co-founder.