Pune, 6 July 2020: The Venture Center (the non-profit technology business incubator located at CSIR-NCL) has announced that it has successfully designed, manufactured and tested N95 masks. The N95
Masks (christened MH12 masks) will be shortly available to frontline workers. The Venture Center has pledged to raise funding and make 1 lakh N95 masks available to Government approved COVID19 hospitals against their formal requests free of cost. Previously, the Venture Center has donated 1 lakh Face Shields during April-June 2020.
In the midst of the lockdown period and in the context of news reports of shortage of N95 masks in April this year, the Venture Center team organized a group called the Pune Masks Action Group comprising its own staff members, startup entrepreneurs, industry professionals and other well-wishers who took the pledge that the group would ensure that any frontline workers in Pune who needs a N95 mask has access to one. The Group was initiated to solve the problem of lack of availability of good quality N95 masks for frontline workers (due to issues relating to supply, knowhow gaps, quality issues or bureaucratic delays).
Yesterday, the Pune Masks Action Group announced that it had successfully designed and developed over several iterations N95 masks meeting the relevant NIOSH and ISO standandards in test results. The efforts of the Action group were aided by generous research testing support by TIFR (Mumbai), BARC (Mumbai) and DRDR (DRDO lab in Gwalior).
The Action Group has also identified a commercial partner for manufacturing and marketing these masks. The facemasks designed by the Pune Masks Action Group shall be available under the brand name of MH12 Masks. The logo reflects the Pune origins of the mask as well as the commitment and gratitude of the people of Pune to the earnest efforts of frontline health, safety, security and sanitation workers in protecting the citizens in their region.
According to Dr V Premnath, Director, Venture Center, this initiative showcases the commitment of the Venture Center’ extended community to delivering the benefits of science and technology to the common people. He also said that the project was executed in record time of 2 months including concept design, prototyping, manufacturing and testing, all this in the midst of lockdowns. The project is a testament to persistence, hard work and dedication of the Pune Masks Action Group.
Mr Pravin Chavan, who led the execution of the project, said “This is the least we could do for the brave frontline workers who are working hard to save lives in this pandemic. It wasour duty to rise to the occasion and contribute usefully.” The Ventuer Center has announced a website (http://www.venturecenter.co.in/masks/) where the MH12 N95 Masks will be can be requestd by organizations. Under its Project Gratitude, Venture Center plans to raise upto Rs 35 lakhs in order to make available 1 lakh MH12 N95 masks to Government approved COVID19 hospitals and other high risk frontline organizations. The website will also raise donations and CSR support for Project Gratitude.
Commercial enquiries will be addressed separately by the Action Group’s Commercial Partner, Ultrasonic Industries.