Austin Emergency Supply Foundation contributed $250,000 of the $750,000 in R&D costs to build a low cost ventilator here in Austin. This is another 501c3 nonprofit effort - separate from the Austin Emergency Supply Foundation.
The goal was to build on the work done by MIT and others and turn this research into a product that could be rapidly produced at a reasonable cost. The team of 40 at SISU in Round Rock started by meeting with “customers” – pulmonologists, respiratory therapists, and other doctors and nurses to ask them what features they needed. The result is a sophisticated and programmable, but simple-to-use Ambu bag ventilator to help fill anticipated shortfalls in ventilator availability during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Austin P51 ventilator project started on March 15th, 2020 and the prototype was ready 16 days later on March 31st, 2020. The Austin P51 derives its name from the P-51 Mustang fighter plane that went from contract to prototype to production in record time during WWII.