FDA, NIH, VA Partner to Accelerate 3D-Printed Protective Gear for COVID-19 Response
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Veterans Affairs Department (VA), and the National Institutes of Health recently joined together to accelerate 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing technologies in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. The collaboration is a Memorandum of Understanding that formalizes the process through which the agencies will solicit designs for, produce and test 3D printed personal protective equipment and other medical supplies to help support America’s response to the pandemic.
The agencies are also, through the memorandum, engaging in a public-private partnership with America Makes, a non-profit accelerator. The non-profit will have the ability to facilitate the program between the health care facilities and the manufacturing industry insiders. Other federal agencies have also been using 3D printing technology to aid a variety of efforts over the past few years, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented an extreme shortage in protective gear and medical equipment as well as a strain on America’s medical supply chain. Therefore, the collaboration will aim to alleviate some of this supply chain tension.