Written on 25 May 2020.
Arthur Dagard, an EMBA student and intrapreneur with Iliad, volunteered to take part in a project to create an emergency artificial ventilator in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. After joining the 200-strong Makers for Life collective at its inception, Arthur worked on designing the ventilator for six weeks, confined with the collective 20 hours a day.
The initiative for the project came from Quentin Adam, a Nantes-based entrepreneur specialised in digital engineering. He teamed up first with Pierre-Antoine Gourraud, a research professor at the University of Nantes and a practitioner at the city’s university college hospital, who brought his scientific expertise to the project.
Quentin Adams then put together a collective of entrepreneurs, researchers, engineers, makers and health professionals in a short space of time. The idea was to create an artificial ventilator in record time and on an open source basis, i.e. available free of charge in France and internationally.
My expertise lies in problem solving: the project fitted perfectly with my professional and personal capabilities. Over 20 of us volunteers joined the collective on the CEA technological research site and we had to confine ourselves together for 20 days, working 20 hours a day. It was an enriching and out of the ordinary experience.
Thanks to the whole collective, we completed a pre-industrial version that works and is shortly due to go into human testing. The priority was to get the ventilator into service quickly in order to respond to the COVID-19 health crisis, but we also managed to reach a production cost of €1,000, well below market levels.
The SEB group is already interested in the pre-industrial version, as is Renault which is working on the ventilator’s motor.
I joined the EDHEC EMBA over a year ago and have had the chance to meet people with different and complementary profiles to my own. I needed to understand the professional world in another way and it was a fine adventure. Several of my fellow EDHEC EMBA students, notably David Rabuat, and certain EDHEC professors, joined in with the creation of the artificial ventilator. The network is incredibly strong.
Who are the men and women behind the project?
Quentin Adam and Pierre-Antoine Gourraud
Arthur Dagard, EDHEC EMBA, Baptiste Moneyron, Clément Niclot, Pierre Papin, Sherin Kamel, Emmanuel Feller, David Sferruzza
And over 200 people!