Medtronic is partnering with the GMIT’s School of Design and Creative Arts to commission a public artwork commemorating the collaborative effort of the local community and Medtronic employees in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
The competitive process is open to selected GMIT programme graduates (2016-2021) and is valued at €20,000.
The partnership is a part of the GMIT Radius Project which engages the School’s graduates and students with local community and social organisations in the creation and exhibition of artistic projects and commissions. The winning piece will be on permanent display at the Medtronic ventilator plant in Mervue, Galway, following an expo tour of the local community.
Last year, the medical technology and healthcare communities, together with third-level colleges such as GMIT and NUIG, joined forces to respond to the global pandemic. As hospitals became flooded with critically ill patients, it quickly became clear that the global supply of ventilators would need to immediately and dramatically increase. With Medtronic’s ventilator manufacturing facility based locally in Mervue, the operations in Galway became the heart of the company’s response.
Medtronic, through its employees, corporate partners and suppliers, worked tirelessly over a period of just 4 months to increase their ventilator production by more than five times. Medtronic also took the unprecedented step to share the design specifications for the Puritan Bennett™ 560 ventilator, which is manufactured in Galway, with the public. The design files have been downloaded more than 225,000 times.
GMIT students and staff also put their shoulders to the wheel, initially hosting a Contact Tracing Centre for the HSE, and assembling an army of volunteers in all campuses to produce PPE and specialist equipment in partnership with research teams in both the public and private sectors across the region.