• The foundation plans to invest just over one million euros in this project and to donate about 500 ventilators.
  • The ventilators will assist the breathing of patients with severe respiratory problems.
  • The machines are fully functional and able to control airflow, volume and pressure to help respond to the global emergency.
  • They were designed by a multidisciplinary team of Spanish engineers and doctors and will soon go into mass production once the clinical trials are complete.

Fundación MAPFRE is sending Ecuador the first ventilators designed in Spain by a group of young engineers. It will extend access to this equipment to four more countries, including Guatemala, thanks to the rapid progress made in talks with the competent authorities. The aim is to ensure that these devices, which can be produced on a large scale, arrive as soon as possible to where they are most needed to help healthcare personnel save lives.

The machines use certified, tested parts and are similar to other devices on the market. They are able to be produced industrially once the clinical trials are successfully completed and the relevant authorization is issued by the countries receiving them.

Fundación MAPFRE has supported this project from its outset and financed the manufacture of the first units, which will soon be sent to Latin America. The foundation plans to invest just over one million euros in the project and to donate about 500 ventilators to willing countries. Production of the machines has commenced at the FABREZ Group plant in Madrid.

Fast, low-cost production

The main difference between this ventilator and others approved by the LCOE (Laboratorio Central Oficial de Electrotecnia — official central electrotechnical laboratory) is its ease of assembly and use of verified parts. This makes it a solid device at a cost four to five times cheaper than a sales model.

The ventilators also have the relevant health specifications to ensure intubation safety and can regulate all patient parameters and needs, such as respiratory rate, and air pressure, volume and humidity. The equipment meets the demanding requirements of AEMPS, the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices, for use with patients during clinical research and for the duration of the pandemic.

Spanish social innovation

The ventilators were conceived and designed by Javier González, a materials engineer from the King Juan Carlos University, and Javier Asensio, a doctor from the Hospital Doce de Octubre in Madrid. Together with a group of engineers, doctors, computer scientists and scientists, they formed a team in March to launch the Spanish not-for-profit The Open Ventilator, developing a fully functional ventilator prototype in record time.

“The ventilator was developed in less than three weeks and required a huge R&D effort, of which the entire Open Ventilator team is extremely proud. This is not a portable ambulance ventilator or mobile ventilator to cope with COVID-19 emergencies. Rather, it is a functional, robust and reliable ventilator with all the medical parameters needed for medical specialists to use it with total confidence and save lives,” emphasizes Javier González, the joint project leader along with Javier Asensio.

“We are very pleased to have participated in this fantastic project,” said Julio Domingo, General Director of Fundación MAPFRE. “It clearly shows the importance of social innovation, to which we are totally committed, and the enormous talent of a team of young Spanish researchers whose efforts will help save many lives all over the world.”

Ready to operate

Of all the prototypes submitted to AEMPS, The Open Ventilator was one of the first Spanish projects during the current emergency to be approved by the LCOE. It has also been authorized by AEMPS for trials with patients at the Alcorcón University Hospital in Madrid.

The team will seek to obtain CE marking once the pandemic has been defeated. It has the support and collaboration of the young talent network Celera, the King Juan Carlos University, the Community of Madrid, and a large group of companies, including Airbus, RENFE and the Japanese multinational OMRON.


Fundación MAPFRE has allocated 35 million euros to various international projects that aim to better protect the population against the virus, help society’s most disadvantaged groups and help the world emerge from this crisis with the least possible impact.


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