April 15, 2020 @ 8:51 by Steven Hugill
A technology firm known for helping thwart global terror plots is making medical equipment to support the world’s battle against coronavirus.
Kromek has revealed plans to manufacture and supply thousands of ventilators for UK and international markets.
The firm, based on Sedgefield’s NETPark, expects to begin production before the end of April and make up to 2000 units within 12 weeks.
Bosses say 1000 ventilators will be available within eight weeks, adding the work will support existing jobs and potentially create further posts.
The company is working alongside Metran Co. Ltd, which is Japan’s leading ventilator maker.
Dr Arnab Basu, chief executive at Kromek, which is more widely known for its flagship D3S detection technology used to identify terror threats such as ‘dirty bombs’, said the business was delighted to be playing its part in the fight against COVID-19.
“We have been working through the British Embassy in Japan with substantial help from the Department of International Trade,” said Dr Basu, pictured left.
“By combining our existing manufacturing skills with Metran’s proven technology, we expect to commence the manufacture of these robust ventilators from next week and deliver in a rapid manner.
“Any procurement of this equipment from Kromek is expected to have the additional benefit of safeguarding and creating employment in the North East as well as contributing to this region’s fight against COVID-19.
“We look forward to the ongoing relationship with Metran.”
Dan Nitta, president of Metran, added: “We have seen an unprecedented demand for ventilation equipment in recent months.
“We realised at an early stage of this crisis that we needed to think beyond our in-house manufacturing capability if we were to make a substantial impact.
“Therefore, we reached out globally to find partners who could help us to expand our capacity, and we are pleased to form this relationship with Kromek.
“With a combination of Metran’s experience in the ventilation field and Kromek’s skill as a designer and manufacturer of advanced electronic equipment, we believe we can make a substantial contribution to the fight against COVID-19.”