Motorsports team Triple Eight Race Engineering has developed a low-cost ventilator prototype in an effort to help fight the global coronavirus pandemic.

Queensland State Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the Brisbane-based race car company had been working around the clock for the past two weeks to develop the prototype.

“This is what Queensland manufacturing is all about,” said Dick. “Hard work, ingenuity and solving problems. It’s so impressive that, within just a few weeks, this company has transitioned their capability, intellect and resources to a product that could ultimately save lives.

“It’s also fantastic to hear that Triple Eight has focused on using readily available, local materials. Triple Eight suspended its usual operation following the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix, and the positive, forward-looking approach of this company has been heartening to see.”

Roland Dane, Team Principle of Triple Eight Race Engineering said the prototype was the result of a dedicated engineering team and input from medical professionals, local intensive care unit experts, as well as the Queensland Department of State Development.

“We were able to utilise in-house 3D printing services provided by our team partner HP and we believe the ventilator could be put into production within a short space of time but we are now continuing development with the help of the Department to improve our unit further,” said Dane. “The Department of State Development have helped us identify and build supply chains for required componentry and ventilator accessories such as alarm circuitry, tubing and masks.

“This is very early days, and we have to make sure all regulatory requirements are met, but we stand ready to help in whatever way we can. I’m so proud of the innovation and agility of my team, and what we can do when we put our minds to it.”

Leanne Linard, Member for Nudgee said it was a wonderful initiative by a great local company: “While there is still a long way to go, I know the engineering capability at Triple Eight is second to none. It’s great to see so many local companies stepping up at this time.”