Written and Published by:
Colorado State University- College of Engineering

A natural gas fuel injector may not be a staple in the medical device industry, but for a team of engineers from Colorado State University and Fort Collins-based Woodward, Inc., it proved to be a key component in the design of a low-cost, durable ventilator.

Back in early March, CSU and Woodward engaged in a joint effort to develop a ventilator that could be quickly manufactured and deployed if the state faced shortages. The project was a response to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ Innovation Task Force charged with developing rapidly deployable solutions to address the impacts of COVID-19.

In statewide remarks May 1, Polis gave a shout-out to the Woodward-CSU team’s efforts over the past several weeks.

“What a great example of Colorado innovation and ingenuity,” Polis said.

The new ventilator project, now in clinical testing stages, recently received further external validation and support: a $100,000 prize from the U.S. Army.

The XTech COVID-19 Ventilator Challenge was launched on April 5 by the Army Acquisition Executive with the goal to solicit the innovation community’s ideas for combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. With a prize pool totaling $1 million, applicants were asked to deliver white papers and virtual pitches describing their ideas, and concepts were judged based on their alignment with mission requirements, technical viability, regulatory aspects, and speed to production and deployment.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses in the Fort Collins community come together in the best and most creative ways, because they know to and because they want to. These stories of businesses working together truly exemplify the strength, resilience and commitment to our economic vitality. They are Bringing Business Home.