10 November 2020

UK Business Hero recognition

We’re delighted to have been recognised as a UK Business Hero by the British Chambers of Commerce for the positive contributions made by our staff and students in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

iForge face mask production
Face masks rapidly produced for frontline workers

The UK Business Heroes campaign pays tribute to UK businesses who have gone the extra mile to support their local communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, our staff and students have provided outstanding support to the community and local businesses, refocusing our world-leading research and innovation to aid the national and international fight against the virus.

Our Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and Nuclear AMRC were part of the Ventilator Challenge UK consortium, led by the High-Value Manufacturing Catapult. The AMRC Cymru was transformed into a production facility for thousands of vital medical ventilator sub-assemblies. The AMRC in Sheffield also oversaw the deployment of HoloLens headsets to fast-track the training of operatives in a socially distanced way and its Machining Group proved out critical ventilator components.

Our engineers responded to a national call for help in the fight against coronavirus by 3D printing face shields for doctors and healthcare workers. The team launched a fundraising appeal - raising over £19,500 - and turned a student makerspace, iForge, into a production line for visors.

As part of our civic role in the city and region, we provided evidence of how Covid-19 has affected the region’s cultural sector. Our research found that Sheffield had missed out on more than 1.25 million visitors to its cultural venues, events and festivals, equating to approximately £11million of lost income for the city. The data collected has been used as the evidence base for two separate reports submitted to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). We also partnered with Sheffield City Council and Our Favourite Places to launch the Sheffield Culture Hub, a web platform to host arts and cultural online events during the coronavirus lockdown.

Our scientists are also part of a consortium to sequence as many UK genomes as possible to help provide critical intelligence which could underpin how we manage and treat the pandemic.

Our researchers have also been investigating the psychological impact of lockdown on young people; developing new techniques that could enable wastewater to be used to locate new infection hotspots; and working to help A&E departments identify which patients with coronavirus need to be admitted to hospital.

To provide support to our NHS, we followed guidance from the Medical Schools Council to change our final assessment process and allow our final-year medical students to graduate earlier than usual and begin practising in hospitals across South Yorkshire and the country.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank our staff and students for their positive contributions and collaborative efforts to mitigate the effects of Covid-19, in the most challenging of circumstances.

PROFESSOR KOEN LAMBERTS, VICE-CHANCELLOR

Our medical students in other cohorts have also been offering volunteer services to doctors, nurses and healthcare workers - from providing childcare and food shopping to prescription collections.

We are also proud to have donated more than 160,000 items of disposable Personal Protective equipment (PPE) worth around £60,000 to assist key workers.

Our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Koen Lamberts, said: “I am delighted that the University has been recognised as a UK Business Hero by the British Chambers of Commerce.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank our staff and students for their positive contributions and collaborative efforts to mitigate the effects of Covid-19, in the most challenging of circumstances.

“As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to present challenges to our region and nation, we will continue to do everything we can to help our society through these difficult times.” 

Read more about our regional response to the coronavirus pandemic