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Free-Trade Zone and Costa Rican Companies Join to Produce Healthcare Equipment for COVID-19 Emergency
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Free-Trade Zone and Costa Rican Companies Join to Produce Healthcare Equipment for COVID-19 Emergency

• Colab.cr initiative invites all sectors to join and create, faster and at a lower cost, necessary healthcare equipment, including waterproof gowns, surgical masks, mechanical ventilators, among other items.

San Jose, Costa Rica. Wednesday, April 1, 2020. With the talent and knowledge of the multinational free-trade zone and Costa Rican companies, academia, and the public sector Costa Rica has created the colab.design.cr initiative (the Collaborative Design of Costa Rica), which was founded to serve, in the quickest way and at the lowest cost, the need for tools and equipment required by the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) and the Ministry of Health, in the fight against COVID-19.

The project will create protective equipment and supplies for healthcare professionals on the front lines of our current health emergency, including necessities such as waterproof gowns, surgical masks, mechanical ventilators, among others.

Together, the Ministry of Health, the CCSS, the National Institute of Learning (INA), and the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Telecommunications (MICITT) will spearhead the initiative, which brings together the private business community like the Costa Rican Chamber of Industries and INCAE, as well as professionals from various fields.

At the same time, Colab.cr will leverage the transfer of knowledge and technology from free-trade zones, based on their experience in the production of medical devices. This will encourage more multinational companies to join the cause, as Boston Scientific, Medtronic, and Lantern Technologies have already done.

The INA will also supply its facilities and tools, as well as available teachers to contribute their technical knowledge in prototyping and 3D printing.

Luis Adrián Salazar, Minister of the MICITT, said: “Costa Rica enjoys high-level talent throughout the areas of technology and science, as well as private companies with expertise in manufacturing and life sciences, and an educational system with a highly qualified labor force, all willing to work together with the public sector to launch this initiative and fulfill supply requirements to answer this emergency.”

He added that "it is of utmost importance that those who are working on similar proposals or have an interest in being part of this community, contact us through official channels. In this way, we can work through a centralized instruction, under the guidance and needs to be detailed by the Ministry of Health, the CCSS, and a responsible and efficient production line.”

Vanessa Gibson, Director of Investment Climate at CINDE, added: “ colab.design.cr is a key point of convergence and we invite to join this platform all those companies that have already come forward to offer their skills and knowledge. This is a highly valuable, national effort in which innovation is key to streamline processes and meet the needs of our country's healthcare personnel and patients.”

Those interested in joining this organized community can write to the email: admin@design.cr or visit the website: http://colab.design.cr. You may also find additional information on Facebook or Instagram, under the name COLABCR.