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Spiro, AirMid Ventilator Designs Selected in Army Prize Competition

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The U.S. Army has awarded $100K to Spiro Devices and AirMid Critical Care Products to develop ventilator prototypes suitable for mass production as part of coronavirus response efforts.

A panel of judges recommended the two companies’ designs 16 days after Bruce Jette, acquisition chief at the Army and a 2020 Wash100 awardee, kicked off the xTech COVID-19 Ventilator Challenge, the military service said Thursday.

Eight out of 150 initial respondents to the branch’s call for ideas were invited to present their ideas to the panel.

AirMid and Spiro proposed a bellows-based platform and a breathing bag-based system, respectively.

The Army, which did not set a deadline for the challenge and continues to accept ideas, aims to help U.S. businesses manufacture 10K ventilators over an eigth-week period.

The xTech team evaluates responses from interested parties based on criteria such as technical viability, capacity to address mission requirements, cost and delivery schedule and the potential of a ventilator to comply with regulations.