Open PPE Project Launches Fundraising Efforts
for N95-Equivalent Mask Production
New Non-Profit Entity Seeks Funding to Produce N95-equivalent Masks,
Calls on Grassroots and Corporate Supporters, Local Manufacturers to Join the Cause
Grand Rapids, MI — Today, the Open Personal Protection Equipment Project (Open PPE Project) announced it is now accepting donations in its efforts to begin and scale production of reusable N95-equivalent masks:
"Creating N95-equivalent masks right here in the U.S. — and giving existing businesses the resources to make them, in turn — is a total game-changer, without sacrificing mask quality"
The Open PPE Project’s mission is to prototype, manufacture and scale production of reusable N95-equivalent face masks. The project plans to scale production by releasing design specifications and its open source manufacturing procedures to empower manufacturers across the country to help mitigate the current supply shortage starting in their own communities.
“Our near-term our goal is — with the help of manufacturers across the country — to meet the current demand for N95-equivalent masks for medical professionals,” explained Open PPE Project Executive Director and Founder Matt Parlmer.
“Not only is it imperative we meet the current mask demand, which will be elevated for the next 18-24 months, but also that we decentralize N95 mask production to prevent future shortages based on supply chain bottlenecks such as export restrictions,” Parlmer continued.
The Open PPE Project — a team of over 20 engineers and problem solvers — has worked with Helpful Engineers to design a reusable N95 mask.
The Open PPE RIGID Respirator’s replaceable filter medium — comprised of N95 meltblown — allows for a fraction of raw material usage when compared to traditional N95 respirators on the marketplace.
The group seeks to raise $750,000 to fund its initial purchase of machines, tooling, raw materials, staffing, legal and regulatory costs — essential for its first production run and to cover priority fixed costs to help operations scale.
"There is a lot of misinformation out there about personal protective equipment: from available supply to cleaning and alternatives. Creating N95-equivalent masks right here in the U.S. — and giving existing businesses the resources to make them, in turn — is a total game-changer, without sacrificing mask quality," said Open PPE Project Chief of Staff Matthew Chisholm. "This is a movement that taps into the heartfelt response of communities at the local level, allowing businesses to contribute how they know best to meet the urgent need for protection against this virus."
The Open Personal Protective Equipment Project is a nonprofit organization (501c3 status pending). The group is partnering with a local medical device manufacturer in West Michigan for its first production run, but intends to scale its efforts across the US and globally.
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