Technological Institute of the Philippines

T.I.P. and Vents for Philippines secure DOST grant for its Automated Emergency Ventilator Project

The Technological Institute of the Philippines (T.I.P.) recently secured funding from the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) for its Automated Emergency Ventilator prototype. With this grant, TIP is set to produce five units of its prototype design that shall undergo further calibration and testing in government-recognized testing facilities before it can get approval from the Food and Drug Authority (FDA).

“We of course would like our prototype design to pass all necessary testing and eventually gain FDA approval so that it may truly be used by medical frontliners in the field. Having DOST support greatly increases our chances of progressing all the way to FDA approval.”, explained T.I.P. Senior Vice President Angelo Q. Lahoz.

Lahoz continued, “There are actually a couple of locally-designed ventilators already in the testing stage even before the pandemic began, and several more still that were initiated the same time we started designing ours. This just goes to show the level of ingenuity inherent in the Filipino. Although these ventilators are indeed in competition with each other, it actually provides the FDA many options, and therefore the luxury to approve the designs that provide the best feature sets and product value.”

A small group of T.I.P. engineering faculty members initiated the project a couple of weeks following the national government’s announcement of placing the entire Metro Manila under enhanced community quarantine. Eager to maximize its idle fabrication facilities, T.I.P. committed support to the efforts of its engineering researchers in creating something useful in the fight against COVID-19. After looking at the efforts in other countries and analyzing what could potentially be of great help to the Philippine medical sector, it was decided that institutional efforts would be pooled into the design of an automated emergency ventilator.

Rapid design projects aimed at solving real problems such as this benefit greatly from effective multi-stakeholder collaborations. T.I.P. allied itself with numerous like-minded individuals and groups who share the same desire to fight the good fight.

One of these stakeholders is the Vents for Philippines, a network of private individuals, medical practitioners, and companies from varied sectors that came together to design an emergency ventilator for medical practitioners in the Philippines. With the said collaboration, T.I.P. volunteers were able to produce a pair of prototypes just three weeks after initiating the project.

Working together with both T.I.P.'s original set of collaborators and the Vents for Philippines network, T.I.P.’s project engineers gained access to an even broader set of resources. With this, prototype design work progressed immensely. When the DOST-PCIEERD issued a call for emergency ventilator proposals, T.I.P. and its collaborators decided to apply for the grant.

As T.I.P. and its collaborators continue to work on the project towards FDA approval, the spirit and joy of collaboration form the winning story already. “With the new people and organizations we have met, and the new friends and allies we have gained, T.I.P. looks forward to further developing and harnessing Filipino ingenuity towards solving real problems, through continued collaborations with stakeholders into the future.” Lahoz concluded.

The prototyping of this Automated Ventilator Project is being done in-house at T.I.P.’s TechnoCoRe facility located at its Quezon City campus. It is a state-of-the-art, seven-storey hub housing the engineering institution’s dedicated fabrication workshops, researchers, laboratory specialists, and engineers. It is a testament to T.I.P.’s commitment towards Technopreneurship and Collaborative Applied Research (collectively called TechnoCoRe), which involves the engineering school working with industry partners to solve problems plaguing Philippine society.