It is in times of crises that resilience, solidarity and creativity make true sense. Here are 10 initiatives of companies and institutions of Atlantic France to find solutions against the Covid-19 epidemic and its consequences.
In Maine-et-Loire: a disinfection robot, FFP2 masks and electronics for artificial respirators
In 2014, Octopus robots developed a solution to disinfect public places, but then changed the product to target the poultry sector. The Cholet-based company is now adapting its robots to get back to their original purpose and treat public places to limit the Covid-19 propagation. Its “dry fog” biocide atomization technology was certified by a well-recognized standard in Europe (NFT 72 281).
In Saint-Barthélemy-d’Anjou, near Angers, the company Kolmi-Hopen has been requisitioned by the French state because it specializes in the manufacturing of surgical and respiratory masks. Visited by Emmanuel Macron on 31st March, the factory is now busy 24/7 and 35 additional employees were recruited. Kolmi-Hopen produces 2 million FFP2 masks and 3 million surgical masks per week!
Air Liquide Medical Systems is the only producer of ventilators for cardiopulmonary resuscitation in France. To face the current needs, the French government asked the company to increase its production capacity in order to assemble 10,000 by mid May. Its supplier Eolane, based in Angers, is lending a hand by producing 9,000 dedicated circuit boards. An amazing increase: last year, the company produced only 50 boards for Air Liquide.
In Sarthe: packaging for the agrifood and health sectors
Posson packaging, based in Louailles (Sarthe), has been certified as a pioneer of industry 4.0. Thanks to its ultra modern factory, in which the air is renewed every 20 minutes, the packaging specialist has not stopped going. On the contrary, the company is receiving many requests from the agrifood and the health and hygiene sectors. Posson packaging works in particular for Kolmi-Hopen (see above).
In Loire-Atlantique: protective visors and a 3-D printers census
The University of Nantes private subsidiary Capacités launched a partnership with the industrial group Armor and the Nantes university hospital to conceive and assemble washable protective visors for healthcare professionals. The objective is to quickly be able to produce 1,000 face shields per day, and the design is open-source.
The EMC2 competitiveness cluster based in Bouguenais, near Nantes, started to inventory all available 3D printing equipment. Many projects were launched in Atlantic France to 3D print medical material such as masks, valves and respirators.
In Vendée: online cooperative sale of local food and production of masks
Agriculture and breeding are among the essential sectors, and the consumption of local products is exploding. The agricultural cooperative Cavac, which brings together farmers from Vendée and Poitou-Charentes, recently launched the eshop Coopcorico. Orders have been multiplied by 10 over the last days!
CID France, based in Dompierre-sur-Yon, usually works for luxury clothes brands. In partnership with Pole Mode (created by the Association for the promotion of clothing trade in Western France), the company started to make medical masks to protect against coronavirus.
In Mayenne: free lawyers´ advice for companies in difficulty
The coronavirus pandemic also has a significant impact on the economy. In the city of Laval, a group of 13 lawyers has volunteered to answer questions free of charge in order to help local entrepreneurs facing the health crisis.
A regional call for innovative projects
At a regional level, the West Creative Industries innovation programme launched a call for projects, “Covid-19 innovative solutions emergency fund”. The objective is to financially support the prototyping and the production of innovative solutions in response to the coronavirus crisis. Open to all the members of the consortium (researchers, teachers, students, etc.), this exceptional operation will support only the projects that can be deployed very quickly.