When frontline workers in Colorado faced a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in their fight against the Coronavirus, CU Denver | Anschutz Inworks, as part of the College of Engineering, Design and Computing, and Make4Covid answered the call. In the past few months, this ambitious alliance of local educational institutions, medical professionals, entrepreneurs, and volunteers have delivered more than 80,000 pieces of PPE to individuals battling the COVID-19 pandemic all over the state.
An exciting example of a modern grassroots effort, supporters from all walks of life used a community collaboration platform to contribute, led by the CU Denver | Anschutz Inworks team. Individuals volunteered their expertise, others became equipment makers, and some helped with distribution via air transport or all-terrain vehicles. In support of these incredible efforts, leadership in this community invented a highly collaborative system to design, test, manufacture, and distribute protective gear to frontline workers across all sectors, including underserved, rural, and Native American communities.
The robust network that now exists started as an idea from the staff at CU Denver | Anschutz innovation initiative Inworks, and has grown into a pioneering example of the unique cooperation and creativity used to produce in Denver and the greater Colorado region. This effort was greatly enhanced by the generous support of the United Way’s Help Colorado Now grant program. CU Denver | Anschutz Inworks and Make4COVID also owe a large part of its success to the 2,000+ volunteers who tirelessly worked in their homes and small businesses to produce, assemble, and deliver PPE to over 40 counties in Colorado.
While the need for PPE is being addressed through a number of emerging channels, the Make4COVID community, with support from the College of Engineering, Design and Computing and the Comcast Media and Technology Center, continues to innovate for the community and citizens of Colorado. Make4COVID represents a powerful partnership ready to activate the Make4COVID network to face the next pandemic and related challenges in Colorado.
At the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing, we focus on providing our students with a comprehensive engineering education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level. Faculty conduct research that spans our five disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and computer science and engineering. The college collaborates with industry from around the state; our laboratories and research opportunities give students the hands-on experience they need to excel in the professional world.