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VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium

A consortium of significant UK industrial, technology and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors, has come together to produce medical ventilators for the UK.


The VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium is led by Dick Elsy, CEO of High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a group of manufacturing research centres in the UK.


Companies in the consortium have now received formal orders from the Government for in excess of 15,000 units.


The consortium will now accelerate production of two agreed designs, based on existing technologies, which can be assembled from materials and parts in current production.  


The VentilatorChallengeUK consortium is committed to playing its role in delivering both medical ventilator designs to the required specifications and, in conjunction with these other companies, organisations and groups, aid the delivery of additional ventilators to the NHS. The companies involved have taken many of their people from key company projects to do this and serve the national need.



05 JULY 2020

“What VentilatorChallengeUK has achieved in the space of twelve weeks is nothing short of incredible, creating and producing an approved product and setting up production facilities on this scale would normally take years. I am immensely proud of the energy, determination and ingenuity shown by every business in responding to this national need. Together, we have helped ensure the NHS has always had access to the number of ventilators it needs, and we’re pleased to have also contributed to building a resilient stock should ventilators be required in the UK in the future. This coalition of the very best of this country’s people and capability across different sectors has truly showcased the strength of the manufacturing industry in the UK. While we have now delivered all the required ventilators to the NHS, the Consortium is looking to capture lessons learned and share them across the engineering community – and with Government – as key tools to help UK industry get back on its feet after the COVID19 pandemic has passed.” - Dick Elsy

16 APRIL 2020

“I’m very pleased to confirm that we have now secured MHRA approval for the Penlon Prima ESO2 device which has been undergoing stringent testing and clinical trials for the last two weeks. Ventilators of this type are complex and critical pieces of medical equipment so ensuring the absolute adherence to regulatory standards and meeting clinical needs were always our priorities. We will now accelerate the ramp up of production at the Penlon site in Oxfordshire and the new VCUK production lines we’ve built in Broughton, Dagenham and Woking. Having already commenced deliveries of the Smiths Group’s paraPAC plus devices, we are working closely with our supply chain partners to rapidly scale up production to achieve our target of at least 1,500 units a week of the combined Penlon and Smiths models. I want to take this opportunity to again thank every member of the consortium and the hundreds of dedicated colleagues who have been working day and night to get us to this point.” - Dick Elsy

02 APRIL 2020

“Members of the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium continue to work around the clock to produce as many additional ventilators for the NHS as quickly as possible. To provide some context, Penlon and Smiths ordinarily have combined capacity for between 50 and 60 ventilators per week. However, thanks to the scale and resources of the wider consortium, we are targeting production of at least 1,500 units a week of the Penlon and Smiths models combined within a matter of weeks. Ventilators are intricate and highly complex pieces of medical equipment and it is vital that we balance the twin imperatives of speed of delivery with the absolute adherence to regulatory standards that is needed to ensure patient safety.” - Dick Elsy


Media Information Notice

30 MARCH 2020

Statement from Dick Elsy, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s CEO

02 APRIL 2020

Statement from Dick Elsy, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s CEO

16 APRIL 2020

VentilatorChallengeUK marks two-month anniversary since consortium’s creation

19 MAY 2020

VentilatorChallengeUK marks the end of the consortium after delivering 13,437 ventilators to the NHS 

05 JULY 2020

VentilatorChallengeUK awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering President's Award for Pandemic Services 

17 AUGUST 2020


We know that there is intense public interest in the work we are doing, but you will appreciate that the consortium is fully focused on this time-critical project and must prioritise the task at hand in meeting the challenge. We will try and facilitate requests for interviews when we are in a position to do so.

In the interim, we would ask that any press enquiries are directed to [email protected] rather than to the individual companies participating in the project. 



We recognise that many companies and individuals with relevant expertise will be keen to help in the effort to produce more ventilators for the UK and will want to be a part of this project. 

We would ask that all offers of support are registered through the Government’s web page rather than by approaching the consortium directly, and we would appreciate the media reinforcing this to enable the consortium to focus on this critical mission.

This will mean that if we need help we will be able to source it through that mechanism and, in the meantime, will be able to focus all of our energies on the urgent task of production. 

VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium

Companies involved include:


UK-based F1 Teams

Suppliers & Supporters: 

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