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Dozens of Czech companies, with the support of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, merged, developed and began mass production of the RP95-M mask during the coronavirus pandemic. The respirator, which provides the highest level of protection, was designed at CIIRC CTU for 3D printing. Production data can be downloaded free of charge with a free license, so the mask is already available in more than thirty countries around the world. In physical form, this Czech protective device can now spread even further, as it now has European certification.

"I am extremely pleased with the success of a purely Czech respirator, in which a number of domestic entities participated. Once again, it turned out that Czech innovative solutions have global potential and that we can be imaginative and self-sufficient even in tense situations. It also turns out that targeted and rapid help is of great importance, we supported 3D printing of the respirator from the Czech Rise Up program, which we prepared at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in record time, "says Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček."Meeting the strictest parameters of FFP3, which has passed full European certification, is in the spirit of the Innovation Strategy a great example of technology transfer with great export potential. "


The original half mask for 3D printing under the name CIIRC RP95-3D was designed by experts from the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC) of the Czech Technical University in one week's time in March. It was a response to the lack of personal medical equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.


"At CTU, we wanted to help cope with the crisis caused by the coronavirus all over the world. Our experts came up with many ideas that helped the general public. Whether it is a unique CoroVent lung ventilator, pipetting robots for testing samples on COVID-19, disinfection production or a service for voluntary couriers, "says CTU Rector Vojtěch Petráček, adding:" The CoroVent, the Covmask and the CIIRC respirator played a key role in joining scientific, state and corporate forces, with a global impact. ”


The data necessary for the 3D production of the respirator were provided by the CTU on the basis of a free license to all owners of the necessary equipment for 3D printing. They are available on the web at So far, the files have been downloaded by almost a hundred institutions or companies from more than thirty countries around the world. Prime example is the Mayo Clinic, the largest clinical research hospital. In addition, the versatility of the solution and the speed of mask´s development was appreciated by the US Navy.


"Our scientists have used the state-of-the-art technology we have at our disposal through our involvement in the RICAIP International Center, demonstrated their ingenuity and developed a product whose data for 3D printing has been made available to the world free of charge. We moved further development to the spin-off company TRIX Connections, thanks to which we managed to develop a mask for mass production and actually complete the entire technology transfer, "says CIIRC CTU Scientific Director Vladimír Mařík, whose institution was at the very beginning of the mask development. He adds: "This is the first time that we have witnessed such a rapid and successful transfer of a research idea from academia to real production at our workplace, perhaps in the context of the entire Czech Republic."


The team led by the TRIX Connections start-up continued its activities further: in cooperation with a consortium of manufacturing companies led by the CARDAM research and development workplace, it produced the RP95-M protective half mask. The aim was to be able to supply it to the Czech and foreign markets in serial production. "The new form of the half mask, respirator, is an example of the connection between science, industry and state aid. It shows that technology transfer is possible and functional even at tremendous speeds. We believe that our project inspires other research teams, will motivate them to improve cooperation in the future, "says Jaroslav Lískovec from the TRIX Connections start-up and adds:" We are already recording a great demand from abroad, thanks to the mask we have become a registered start-up for the possible provision of NATO aids. "


The half mask is produced by plastic injection molding. "Technologically demanding preparation of molds was completed within a few weeks, we prepared the entire production logistics within one month. Production began after Easter, then we delivered the first five thousand masks to the Ministry of Health in the mode of accelerated certification. And exactly a week ago, on 10 June, 2020, the respirator received full European certification according to the EN 140: 1999 / AC: 1999 standard, "says Ondřej Kurkin, CEO of CARDAM, adding:" In practice, this means that the RP95-M half mask with replaceable P3 filter meets the same or a higher degree of protection as the respirator of the FFP3 filter class, which of course also enables broader application in European and world markets. "


The RP95-M respirator thus became one of the few protective devices developed in response to the coronavirus crisis, which succeeded. Certification is recognized not only in the European Union, but in many other countries around the world. This fulfills another necessary precondition for the export of half masks outside the Czech Republic. The Czech product can thus reach healthcare professionals and other workers in various places, and it can be used repeatedly, thanks to proven procedures for sterilization and disinfection.

"Similar projects are proof that supporting innovation is of great importance. And that we were able to adapt to the new situation during the pandemic and actively seek and connect suitable partners, ideas and technologies and provide the necessary financial support from various programs, "says the ministry´s Innovation Strategy Coordinator Robin Čumpelík. Among other things, it was the already mentioned program Czech Rise Up - Smart Measures against COVID-19. He helped Czech industry and the economy to put innovations into practice, build on added value and cooperate globally. Currently, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is preparing Czech Rise Up 2.0 to support the use of modern technologies in medical and non-medical solutions in the context of the coronavirus. This is so that the Czech Republic is ready for a possible next wave of the pandemic.

Photo: Roman Sejkot, CIIRC ČVUT