“Our hope and desire to help are what makes us keep breathing”

PNEUMA Team Developed a low-cost and easy to assemble ventilator for hospitals Portugal, Porto

Hospitals face massive demand for ventilators. That’s why a multidisciplinary team in Porto, led by INESC TEC, is developing PNEUMA, a low-cost and easy to assemble device. The main goal of this alternative ventilator is to free up conventional machines for critical cases. This technology acts as an alternative to invasive ventilation for patients with acute respiratory failure requiring respiratory rate control. It is also a solution in the event of a critical shortage of ventilators. European scientists are at the forefront of global research and innovation in medicine, working across borders to improve healthcare systems together. This includes EU support for startups and small and medium companies with new ideas to fight the virus. The European Innovation Council Accelerator's funding call offers €164 million to help them get their ideas off the ground.

“Art is the mirror of humanity. It encourages us, offers hope and lifts our spirit”

Ana Manages a platform where artists can perform and get paid by the audience Portugal, Torres Vedras

Think Arts, Talk Business, Make Culture! This is the motto of the platform RHI Stage, created by Arte Institute at RHI-Think.com, where artists can perform and get paid for it. The impact of COVID-19 on the European member states has affected many industries. The culture sector is no exception. The EU set up Creative Europe to provide loans to small and medium enterprises in the cultural and creative sectors. It also set up the ESI Funds, to provide support in the form of loans and guarantees. It is encouraging to see that communities all over the EU can support artists in their work, showing solidarity to artists through art itself.

“By allowing people to stay home, we are saving lives”

Vizinho Amigo Buy and deliver goods to those unable to leave their houses Portugal, Lisbon

“Vizinho Amigo”, which translates to “Friendly Neighbour”, is a group of young volunteers who are providing assistance to those who are more at risk of contracting the virus, such as the elderly and sick people. As these groups of people are hit harder when they get the virus, it is highly recommended that they avoid gatherings of people, including at supermarkets or pharmacies. This is where the “friendly neighbours” step in. They collect requests and go shopping for food, medicines and any other necessary items, and deliver them to people's doorsteps. They are also working on raising awareness of their services, by delivering leaflets in the local area and working with local authorities. This spirit of solidarity has also been shown between EU member states, especially towards those worst affected by the pandemic. For instance, Slovakia has sent masks and disinfectant to Italy, while Austria sent gloves and disinfectant to Croatia. German hospitals are treating critically ill patients from Italy and France, while Czechia offered protective suits to Italy and to Spain. Perfect examples of how we are making it through the crisis, together.

“This is everyone's cause”

SOS.COVID19.PORTUGAL Crowdfunds campaigns to purchase personal protective equipment Portugal, Lisbon

The healthcare system faces high demand for equipment that allows professionals, such as nurses and doctors, to protect themselves when helping patients in hospitals. A good supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) is therefore necessary to support our health professionals in the fight against COVID-19. SOS.COVID19.PORTUGAL is a Portuguese social solidarity movement, founded by 8 women, committed to this issue. They are crowdfunding to buy more PPE for several hospitals. The movement also created a second crowdfunding campaign to buy PPE for care homes for the elderly. At an EU level, RescEU was created to stockpile and distribute medical equipment and PPE to ensure it goes where it is most needed in order to slow and stop this pandemic.

“We'll work in finding new solutions to support the fight against this pandemic”

Miguel Supports the Portuguese National Health Service through the creation of essential products Portugal, Porto

New supplies of disinfecting gel, which is essential for the prevention of COVID-19, have been distributed throughout 12 hospitals in the northern region of Portugal, thanks to collaboration between the Regional Health Administration, Super Bock Group, and Levira distillery. So far, approximately 18,000 litres of hand sanitising gel made from our non-alcohol beer production has been provided. This is an example of support and solidarity between private businesses and those at the frontlines, enabling the work of the professionals from the national health service.

“A community with innovators is more autonomous and resilient”

VIVA Lab team Develops opensource projects to design protective equipment for the medical sector Portugal, Porto

VIVALab focuses on education, innovation, and design. During the pandemic, they produce masks, visors and protective goggles for hospitals in Porto. They transformed their workspace into an assembly line and created a network of volunteers and seamstresses. So far, they have delivered 4.500 visors, 1.300 goggles and 500 masks. As the project is opensource and free to share, groups in Brazil, Italy and Spain are already adopting their solutions. Across the European Union, countries, regions and cities are stretching out a helping hand to neighbours, helping those most in need. This is European solidarity in action. For a full overview of the comprehensive EU action to tackle COVID-19, please visit: https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/health/coronavirus-response_en

“Saying thank you to doctors and nurses isn’t enough. We all have to take action”

Eurico 3D-prints equipment for medical professionals Portugal, Setúbal

Eurico works at FAN3D, a consultancy business specialising in Additive Manufacturing (3D printing). At the moment they are 3D-printing medical protective equipment for medical workers. This is just one snapshot of European solidarity. France has so far donated 1 million masks to Italy and Germany has delivered 7 tons of medical equipment to Italy, including ventilators and anaesthetic masks, helping save lives.

“Now more than ever, tech support can make a real difference for hospitals in their fight against the pandemic”

André Helps hospitals manage the maintenance and rehabilitation of medical equipment Portugal, Vale de Cambra

André works on a web platform that helps hospitals communicate more efficiently with other medical facilities, with a focus on medical equipment maintenance and rehabilitation. Ensuring the provision of adequate medical equipment has been one of the key efforts of the EU during this crisis. By assisting specialised technicians with the maintenance and rehabilitation of the tools that medical workers desperately need in order to provide adequate care to patients, André is helping to tackle the logistical challenge the health sector is currently facing.

“Our work aims to find local solutions to go global with the sole purpose of serving humanity in the fight against COVID19 by rehabilitating old medical equipment like ventilators”

João Puts their technological skills to the service of medical institutions Portugal, Cascais

The “Open Air Project” that João founded gathers a community of tech-savvy volunteers working on projects like open source ventilators, and the rehabilitation of old ventilators to support medical institutions. Other projects revolve around prevention, containment, remote assistance, logistical support, mobile apps, and other technological solutions to the current emergency. The project aims to provide local solutions that can be helpful globally, paralleling the EU's efforts to support people in the field while offering solutions on a continental scale.

“You can save the world by learning how to prevent the virus from spreading.”

Virus Fight Club Launched an educative smartphone game to teach WHO best practices Portugal, Braga

This team of 9 people developed the Virus Fight Club app in which players travel around the globe to fight COVID-19. The game is designed to be accessible to all age groups, mixing information from the World Health Organisation with entertainment to provide an engaging activity during this difficult time. Frequent handwashing is a core feature of the game, along with the distribution of masks to infected characters. Such initiatives creatively complement the existing actions of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, which provides rapid risk assessments and epidemiological updates on the outbreak.