FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Woodward Inc. and Colorado State University are working together to produce life-saving ventilators to meet the demand brought on by the COVID-19 crisis.
The project is in response to a recommendation from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis that a task force addressing the potential shortage of ventilators look toward non-traditional manufacturers of the machines, according to Woodward spokesperson Tracy Gohari.
Bryan Willson, executive director of the CSU Energy Institute, contacted Woodward CEO Tom Gendron about getting the company involved. Gendron “wholeheartedly agreed,” Gohari said in an email.
“Woodward is applying our existing technology and products for the development of a new ventilator and we have a prototype,” Gohari said.
Initial tests of the device have been successful. The company is seeking approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration for the ventilator.
Willson did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. More details will come from Woodward and CSU as the project progresses, Gohari said.
Ventilators help patients breathe and promote healing in damaged lungs. As coronavirus cases continue to grow in Colorado, the state could need up to 10,000 ventilators, according to some estimates.
The state has ordered 750 ventilators from the federal emergency stockpile of medical equipment but has received none.
Colorado officials are trying to buy ventilators from manufacturers but face stiff competition from other states and the federal government.