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EPSRC CDT in Sensor Technologies for a Healthy and Sustainable Future



How do we respond to acute cases of COVID-19?

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OVSI (Oxygen and Ventilator System Initiative) team is developing technologies to help people to breath, thus keeping their blood oxygenated. Our main response to acute cases of Covid-19 is the OVSI Ventilator and an O2 Concentrator. Our team of 10 students from the EPSRC Sensor CDT based in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the Cambridge University are working on the Ventilator System which enables assisted breathing, pumping oxygen to the patients’ lungs to keep them alive. It can alternate between breathing modes and is designed to fit supply chain challenges of LMIC's. All the components fit within a compact and robust instrument the size of a briefcase. The OVSI ventilator is a pressure based system, it has the capability to use external oxygen supply to mix with the ambient air to increase the oxygen concentration to the patient.


Please click here to see OVSI Project Youtube video. 


We have three objectives:

  • To contribute to the urgent humanitarian response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.


  • To enable more effective treatment of childhood pneumonia and other diseases in low-resource settings in the longer term.


  • To contribute to job creation by strengthening manufacturing capabilities and ecosystems in developing and emerging economies. Ultimately, we would like to enable the maintenance, assembly, and manufacturing of medical grade oxygen concentrators in low- and middle-income countries


Sensing concerns - Our philosophy


Our collaborative designs are open, to facilitate development and manufacture in low - and middle-income countries.

High Quality

Infrastructure, energy sources, and capabilities consider local conditions, both financial and environmental, as well as other needs and pressures but the finished product makes no compromise on safety and efficacy of the devices.


 OVSI devices are resilient, ready to face challenges like dust, pollution, humidity, electrical surges, and the lack of sterile facilities. We also consider transportability, to guarantee oxygen delivery for all.


All OVSI modules will be interoperable, supported by training and documentation. Moreover, our devices connect with pre-existing infrastructure and equipment without difficulty.

High quality

Our collaborative process brings together experts from across the globe, considering all aspects of purpose and context to produce efficient, highly operable, and durable modules, designed to last and offer additional value.


All modules of the OVSI system are high-quality and technically exemplary, but costs will be kept to a minimum, with designs focussed on efficacy and accessibility.

Outreach and citizen engagement
Public engagement is fundamental for increasing awareness, education and empowerment within the local community. We frequently run events and workshops aimed to engage a range of community groups of all ages- please check our homepage for further details or get in touch via our contacts page.

The team

Our team of 10 students from the EPSRC Sensor CDT based in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge, working on sensor technologies is working with OVSI to create a ventilator for LMIC countries that have advised the design team on appropriate design and after-sales support. 

For more information see

   Sensor CDT Logo

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