NEW DELHI: The office of the principal scientific adviser to the government on Sunday said 'Project O2 for India' has been initiated to ensure supply of critical raw materials such as zeolites, setting up of small oxygen plants, and manufacturing of compressors.
The second wave of COVID-19 saw an increase in demand for medical oxygen in different parts of the country, it said in a statement.
While meeting the current demand, manufacturing medical oxygen also became important to ensure the country has adequate supply in the future.
"'Project O2 for India' of the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser is to enable stakeholders working to augment the country's ability to meet this rise in demand for medical oxygen.
"Under Project O2 for India, a National Consortium of Oxygen is enabling the national level supply of critical raw materials such as zeolites, setting up of small oxygen plants, manufacturing compressors, final products, i.e.,oxygen plants, concentrators, and ventilators," according to the statement.
The consortium is not only looking forward to providing immediate to short-term relief but also working to strengthen the manufacturing ecosystem for long-term preparedness.
A committee of experts has been evaluating critical equipment such as oxygen plants, concentrators, and ventilators from a pool of India-based manufacturers, start-ups, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The manufacturing and supply consortium includes Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL); Tata Consulting Engineers (TCE); C-CAMP, Bengaluru; IIT Kanpur; IIT Delhi; IIT Bombay, IIT Hyderabad; IISER, Bhopal; Venture Center, Pune; and more than 40 MSMEs, it said.
The consortium has started to secure CSR/philanthropic grants from organisations like USAID, Edwards Life sciences Foundation, Climate Works Foundation, etc, it said.
Hope Foundation, American Indian Foundation, Walmart, Hitachi, BNP Paribas, and eInfoChips are procuring oxygen concentrators and VPSA/PSA plants as part of their CSR efforts to aid the consortium's work.
NMDC Ltd has agreed to fund the procurement of raw materials like zeolite for the manufacturers in the consortium, it added.