Lifestyle & Culture

Tech talents and engineers: Join the Dutch Corona Mask Initiative and save lives

The Dutch are all about collaboration, and Eindhoven-based innovator Eddy Allefs is tapping deep into his immense network to solve a huge problem. Eddy is organizing the Dutch Corona Mask Initiative and is working to set up a manufacturing facility that will produce 200,000 masks per day.

The supply of face masks is dangerously low in the Netherlands, putting our healthcare workers at an intolerable risk as they fight to save people from coronavirus.


To be clear, we’re talking about more than the fabric masks you see people wearing on the streets, though they’re part of this product. We’re also talking about plastic masks doctors and nurses wear in infectious environments.

If you have experience in manufacturing or production, you could help Eddy help the docs and nurses to save lives.

This is not just another startup; the Dutch Corona Mask Initiative is a mission and he could use some volunteer help. This also won’t be ad hoc because Eddy is a serious engineer with decades of working at some of the world’s most advanced companies including Philips, ASML and NTS.

This five-track approach is systematic:

• Track 1 is about acceleration of existing supply chains to get disposable masks with different filtering ratings delivered to the Netherlands in larger demand and faster speed.

• Track 2 is about setting up a Dutch manufacturing line

• Track 3 is about setting up a Dutch supply chain for disposable masks based on injection molding using flexible plastic. These masks will have a separately mounted filter element.

• Track 4 is an extension of track 3, collecting used masks, then cleaning them with dedicated equipment and/or facilities.

• Track 5 is the creation of masks via 3D printing. This technology will not produce the required quantity of masks necessary for hospitals and home care, but potentially this is a route custom-production for companies as protection for their employers.

From Eddy’s LinkedIn post:

We need technicians to read these specific standards and help these laboratories with new or modified test equipment. Urgency: days, not weeks!”

• We also need overview of labs in NL/BE and their technical contact persons.

• We need gap analysis: What can these labs test and which tests are missing?

We need coordinators and technicians to design or modify test equipment for missing tests.

Eddy makes clear on his website that he’s not building a commercial venture:

We are a community of mainly technical people working in the Dutch HighTech ecosystem. We work on a voluntary basis. We feel it as an obligation to make our knowledge available to those who need it.

We probably don’t need to emphasize the urgency of this mission, but we’re going to anyway because the Netherlands has an alarming trend line. Hospitals are erecting special triage tents in parking lots around the country, and healthcare workers are putting in 80-hour weeks on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have skills and/or information Eddy needs, contact him directly: [email protected]

You can also sign up on the bottom of the website landing page.

To understand the full impact of the coronavirus across Europe, see our running account here of precautions countries across Europe are taking

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