Hero Shield – Co-producing healthcare face visors during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Co-Innovate initiative, led by InterTradeIreland and supported by the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), has provided financing to a cross-border group of 18 companies (headed by Northern Irish company Shnuggle), to help them produce thousands of low-cost, quality face shields for front-line workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Adam Murphy, Co-Founder of Snhuggle - a Northern Irish company producing baby products - set about contacting local companies to ask for their help in producing Emergency Face Shields for the National Health Service (NHS) and other Key Workers in Northern Ireland. This gave birth to a collaboration with several companies specialised in precision engineering and willing to collaborate on the manufacturing of a key piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) to fight the COVID-19 virus. The “Hero Shield Ltd” was therefore created through a cross-border collaboration aimed at designing, testing and producing the two-piece plastic face shields.

All partners worked at high speed to re-purpose their supply chains and ensure a timely delivery of the shields during the crisis. Metal toolmaker Crossen Engineering at Crossnacreevy and Lisburn-based Ad-Vance Engineering have produced two injection mould tools in record time which were then used by Crossen Engineering and Plastics 2000 to produce the mouldings for the quick-assembly face mask. Brett Martin in Newtownabbey, a global supplier of specialist plastic products for display sectors, supplied the material (PET) for the front shield, which was later cut to size by Cutting Industries in Lisburn and then packed in a clean room environment by Denroy Plastics in Bangor.

In parallel to a crowdfunding round online, the project received funding from the UK Government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans and, crucially, financial support of €300,000 from Co-innovate - a funding and capability development programme supported by the EU's INTERREG VA programme (Ireland-Northern Ireland-Scotland) and by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

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Year: 2020
Level of government: Other


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