The University of Cape Town (UCT) is leading this project from the institutional side. Professor Sudesh Sivarasu from UCT is the programme manager and overall project lead for the challenge. The UCT team have been actively involved in coordinating, managing and overseeing all related activities in the merSETA ViroVent Innovation Skills Challenge. UCT is involved in all streams of the challenge both the Integrated Skills Development Programme (ISDP) for the students and the development of UCvenT Non-Invasive Ventilator.
UCT’s team was involved in developing the curriculum of the Medical Device Sector Essentials (MDSE) Course as well as overseeing and coordinating the courses developed by NTIP. All courses were taught asynchronously via UCT’s official online learning system, Vula.
In conjunction with the merSETA ViroVent Innovation Skills Challenge, there is a UCT engineering design team developing the UCvenT Non-Invasive Ventilator. The core purpose of the ventilator is to provide treatment to patients with breathing problems caused by Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses. Consulting sessions will be offered with the team to gain insight and knowledge on the challenging process of commercialising a device in South Africa.
UCT has a total of nine Master student participants involved in this challenge who are all working on MedTech related projects as part of their dissertation. One of these students are completing their Masters of Philosophy in Health Innovation, whilst the rest are studying towards a Masters of Science in Biomedical Engineering.