The Enterprise Program

Sponsor a COVID-19 Response Project

Enterprise is ready to use our strengths—rapid prototyping, open-source solutions, and multidisciplinary teams—to join the fight against COVID-19. We need your input, and your sponsorship. Please vote on your favorite project concept (or submit your own idea!), and consider donating to the program. Funds will be used to support the winning project.

Vote

 

Sponsor an Enterprise COVID-19 response project

Proposed Projects

HVAC ductwork

Shared Air Filtration

Problem: Evidence suggests that transmission of the COVID-19 virus increases as fresh air decreases—indoor spaces with standard HVAC systems can be riskier than the outdoors or hospital-grade HVAC filtering.

Proposal: Create an affordable proof-of-concept solution for large and small indoor spaces to improve air quality and reduce risk of disease spread. This system may employ filtration techniques, UV light, or other technologies vetted by external researchers and/or the CDC.

Who could benefit: Businesses and organizations in enclosed spaces, such as stores, office spaces, grocers, theaters, and churches.

A man using a phone

Technology-Enabled Physical Distancing

Problem: Physical distancing lessens the spread of infectious disease, but it can be hard to implement as peoples' schedules are unpredictable.

Proposal: A device or app that may alert users when they’re standing too close for safe physical distancing, track and rate their distancing skills throughout the day, or give a preview of the number of people in a certain location to help the user plan ahead.

Who could benefit: People who would like to access grocery stores, parks, or restaurants during off-peak periods, when off-peak periods are tough to predict. People in environments where it’s easy to drift away from proper physical distancing standards, like in a laboratory, family gathering, or a larger group.

A stack of cloth face masks

Small-Scale Decontamination Unit

Problem: Individuals and small businesses may have the same need to decontaminate PPE and other products as hospitals and large-scale industries, but may not have access to large-scale decontamination systems. 
Proposal: A personal- or family-sized device modeled after large-scale PPE decontamination units. 
Who could benefit: Individuals, families, and small businesses who have PPE, groceries, clothing, or other objects that need to be decontaminated.

A woman leaning on a handrail

Virus-Resistant Material Applications

Problem: Viruses and bacteria can remain active on surfaces for hours. Keeping shared surfaces like door handles, elevator buttons, railings, etc. sanitary 100% of the time through administrative controls like a cleaning staff is less effective than materials that actively kill bacteria and viruses.
Proposal: Develop materials and coatings that will reduce the spread of the virus.
Who could benefit: Public and private facilities that have common spaces with door handles, elevator buttons, hand railings, etc.

A hospital bed

Open-Source Home Care

Problem: The majority of COVID-19 patients will convalesce at home. However, many cases where hospitalization isn’t required still aren’t easy. At-home patients and their caregivers may benefit from medical-style equipment like specialized beds, bathing, lifting assistance, etc, but the stock of such equipment may be depleted by regional outbreaks.

Proposal: Open-source designs for home care to improve comfort and outcomes for symptomatic patients quarantined at home. Designs could be built by individuals or local/regional manufacturers who can match their production specialty to a market need. 

Who could benefit: Patients and families involved with home care. Health care systems, as better home care could mean fewer hospitalizations.

A couple, both wearing masks 

Building a Better Mask

Problem: Universal mask adoption has been shown to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but some people find masks uncomfortable. 

Proposal: Students will review home- and medical-grade masks designs, identify current problems, and prototype open-source solutions to make masks more wearable. More comfortable masks could mean better adoption and usage, bringing the transmission rate down.

Who could benefit: Anyone who finds their current masks uncomfortable.

A man in a mask delivering a box

Touch-Free Delivery

Problem: At-home delivery can keep people with COVID-19 risk factors out of the stores and safer. However, the delivery person is potentially a point of failure—a presymptomatic or asymptomatic Meals on Wheels driver, for example, could spread the virus to vulnerable clients.

Proposal: A robot or autonomous device to move meals and packages from carrier to receiver while maintaining physical distance. Touch-free delivery could lower the spread of disease and keep both the delivery person and the recipient safer.

Who could benefit: Delivery workers, Meals on Wheels, waitstaff.

Vote

 

The Enterprise advisory team will review the number of votes per project, available sponsorship money, and the workloads of our Enterprise teams to choose the award-winning project(s).

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More Information

Chris Morgan

Chris Morgan

  • Assistant Director of Educational Partnerships, Enterprise Program
cjmorgan@mtu.edu
906-487-2633
M&M Building 613