Local Production for #COVIDaction


We are seeking, vetting and supporting innovators.

If you have an idea or technology that could support #COVIDaction we want to hear from you. These ideas will be assessed by a dedicated pool of experts from across academia and industry. The Innovation Action team will draw on these experts with flexibility, according to the relevant expertise needed for each idea. We aim to have a response back to innovators within 2 weeks.

To join #COVIDaction and submit your idea or technology please apply above.

We are keen for innovators to make themselves aware of the WHO’s Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) technical guidance material. This is updated daily and acts as a central repository, where all key technical guides and specifications will be accessible.

Key pages are:

Response Areas

In the coming weeks we will use this process to develop a pipeline of technology applications across a range of focus areas. The five focus areas that we have received the most positive feedback on so far are:

  1. Local Solutions & Local production: crowdsourcing and mapping innovative responses to dealing with demand for unavailable goods. How have pivots in local production and novel approaches met local needs?
  2. Data: sources, collection tools, and analysis to inform the response. What are the best tools for using data to inform decision-making?
  3. Resilient health systems: Technologies that extend the reach, coordination and/or continuity of medical support between hospitals, clinics, communities and households. How might we reduce the burden on existing health staff and infrastructure and ensure non-COVID related services remain available?
  4. Technology-enabled distribution: novel technology approaches to maintaining the cold-chain, last mile distribution and food security and delivery. How might technology enable and support the delivery of crucial goods and supplies?
  5. Digital financial support: considering the role of technology in providing financial safety nets and innovative disbursements of funds. How might mobile money and other technologies support people through the pandemic?

You can read more about our approach to these focus areas in this blog post.

We want to hear from groups across formal and informal sectors who have capacity:

  • Manual machining of all materials
  • Digital fabrication — 3D printing, CNC Milling, Routing…
  • Plastics — Vacuum Forming, Injection Molding..
  • Metalwork — Bending, Lathing, Welding…
  • Traditional Crafts
  • Textiles, Weaving, Sewing…
  • Electronics, PCB production, Pick & Place…

Here are some of the emerging themes of the submissions we have received so far:

  • PPE — 3D printed faceshields, washable masks & coveralls with a broad range of innovative approaches
  • Sanitation — pivots towards sanitizer and disinfectant manufacture, as well as washing facilities in various contexts
  • Food & Agriculture — both consumer-side and producer-side approaches to filling a gap
  • Repair & Maintenance — maintenance of equipment, and replacing spare parts which are key to keeping the local systems going.

We are interested to hear from applicants across a diverse scale of operations. High capacity factories who have pivoted manufacturing, small scale workshops, makerspaces who are filling a specific gap in local demand, more informal groups that have come together to organise the production of a key item — these are all playing a role right now.


August 31, 2020
Organizer DFID
Website Visit website
Targets Africa
Sectors Sector agnostic