An impressive number and a fine contribution to the fight against coronavirus infection: The 10,000th face shield was assembled last week by volunteer student helpers from the initiative “stuvus vs. COVID-19”. Since the end of March, scientists and students at the ARENA2036 research campus have been manufacturing the corona face shields. Initially with the aim of supplying regional hospitals and medical practices. Those interested in requesting face shields can do so using a form on the ARENA2036 website.
Face shields for a refugee camp on Lesbos
“We noticed that the regional demand has decreased now,” says Sebastian Uecker, who supports the project in public relations. “That’s why we focused more on foreign countries. Initially, we sent 300 face shields to the partner university in Bergamo and, with support from the Europecares aid organization, more than 500 face shields to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, as the need is particularly high in these regions.”
Sebastian Durek is the person responsible for deliveries abroad in the initiative “stuvus vs. COVID-19”. Through him and the University of Stuttgart, new contacts were established with the Bavarian Academic Center and the Consulate of Chile. Last week, Dr. Philipp Weißgraeber from ARENA2036 and Dr. Wolfgang Holtkamp, Senior Advisor for International Affairs of the University of Stuttgart, discussed the details of the shipment of 1000 face shields to Chile at the Consulate General of Chile in Munich. The face shields will be air-shipped to Santiago de Chile by volunteers during the week and, upon arrival, passed on directly to nursing homes in acute need.
“The team and the supply chains are very well-coordinated”
By now, the production of the face shields is organized and carried out mainly by students. The ARENA2036 research coordinators help establish contacts in industry and contacts with institutes that support the project. “The supply chains are very well-coordinated,” Uecker says. For example, due to lack of availability on the market, the Institute of Polymer Technology is producing its own plastic film for face shields, which is cut to size at the Institute of Aircraft Design in an automated process. All individual parts are collected at ARENA2036 and assembled by volunteer students.
Over the past three months, the stuvus helper pool has brought together more than 50 volunteers who support the initiative, from individual work shifts in production to project management. The high number of ten thousand face shields could only be reached thanks to the extensive voluntary help of the students.