Edinburgh lipreading-friendly face mask firm secures £50k grant
The Edinburgh-based firm said the sum will help the ongoing development of its “ground-breaking,” transparent lip-reading face masks that it says have been well-received by the deaf community.
The funding will also underpin expansion plans as Breathe Easy accelerates production of masks for sectors including care organisations and NHS trusts. The firm was set up three months ago in Corstorphine by businessman Gavin McAdam in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
It has made 50,000-plus masks locally to date, and has been working with charities such as Deaf Action Scotland, National Deaf Children’s Society (Scotland), Steps To Hope, Visualise Scotland and Positive Pathways. Many charities in England have also been in touch enquiring about partnering with Breathe Easy.
McAdam said the funding boost will facilitate further expansion and help the community be safe. “Formal recognition of the need for these lipreading face masks has been a huge boost for our fledgling enterprise,” he said.
“The financial assistance will help us through essential development stages to ensure we can focus on delivering world-class products. We are confident we can contribute to a recovering economy and beyond and this award has provided renewed hope for our staff and customers alike.”
The firm has also been helped by the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS). Alaster McDonach, senior manufacturing engineer at that organisation, said: “[We are] delighted to have been able to advise and guide Breathe Easy through the certification process and help the team make the lip-reading face masks idea a reality.
“NMIS is about making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing and innovative companies such as Breathe Easy are vital for this to happen. It is inspiring to see this small manufacturing firm address a key societal challenge in such a proactive manner and to now be in a position whereby thousands of people will benefit and the company will continue to grow.”
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