On the evening of Tuesday, 9 November 2021, a diploma ceremony for the “European Citizen’s Prize” for 2020 and 2021 editions took place at the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels. CIIRC CTU, represented by the director Ing. Ondřej Velek, was awarded in 2020 for the RP95-3D protective half-mask project.
It was a follow-up ceremony, culminating in the award ceremony at the national level. This took place in October at the CIIRC CTU in Prague and the medal was won in 2020 by both the CIIRC CTU team and in 2021 by the Masaryk University team for the “MUNI helps” project.
The diplomas were presented by Dita Charanzová, Vice-President of the EP and Chancellor of the European Citizen’s Prize, and were given to all 50 winners from all European member states over the last two years.
The event thus created an interesting opportunity for comparison. All the awarded projects were united by enormous enthusiasm for selflessly helping those who currently need help.
Most projects focused on helping the most vulnerable, such as the integration of foreigners or programs to help children from socially disadvantaged groups. Other awarded projects were focused on ecology, afforestation of forests, use of renewable resources. A number of the awarded projects responded to the situation of the spread of COVOD-19: from the distribution of food for working doctors, making books available to children at home to shopping for the elderly.
“I see one uniqueness of our project: in addition to the will of people to help quickly in any way, often with primitive methods, our project was able to use state-of-the-art equipment and within a few days a technologically advanced product that demonstrates the new possibilities of Industry 4.0,” said Ondřej Velek. On the example of a protective half mask, it was possible to demonstrate the basic elements of flexible production and production as a service in crisis situations, where it is possible to rapidly develop and use additive production and 3D printing to start producing a completely new product, anywhere in the world.
The CIIRC RP95-3D protective half mask was developed by a team of researchers within one week in March 2020 in response to the urgent lack of protective equipment at the beginning of the first coronavirus wave. Thanks to the huge commitment of CIIRC CTU staff and the top technological equipment of Testbed for Industry 4.0 from the European RICAIP project, the mask was both developed and certified as a professional protective device so that it could be put into clinical operation as soon as possible. Thanks to free sharing, the press data for the mask subsequently reached more than a hundred institutions from 30 countries around the world.