(C) ANNE-LAURE AFFRE

First high quality ‘Made in Belgium’ masks from August

Antwerp University and playing card and board game producer Cartamundi are joining forces to produce the first high quality breathing masks in Belgium.  The masks will mainly be destined for the health care sector.

Antwerp University and the Turnhout based company Cartamundi have set up a joint venture called Medimundi.  The new consortium plans a totally Belgian response to the big global shortage of high quality mouth and nose coverings.  Masks that meet FFP2 and FFP3 standards will start rolling off the production line as early as August.

Researchers at the Product Development Department of Antwerp University designed the masks using innovative and protective technology.  The masks are geared to the human anatomy and comfortable to wear. A newly developed filter and valve technology make them more comfortable to wear.

The corona crisis revealed how vulnerable and unprepared Belgium was when it came to providing high quality mouth masks for health care staff.  There was a global shortage of high quality models that were in big demand.  Belgium was totally reliant on foreign imports. Medimundi plans to change this.

The Cloostermans company that is also part of the consortium will provide production equipment, while there is also a capital injection from a private investor. David Germis, Medimundi CEO, told VRT: “There are problems with the quality of most of the masks that are supplied today.  They do not provide sufficient protection and are not pleasant to wear.  People who need to wear them for long periods of time experience skin irritation and breathing difficulties.  Our masks will offer a solution to both problems.”

The consortium plans an initial investment of 3.5 million euros and is also eyeing other products and foreign markets.