Aim, concept, objectives, results.


The approach is to setup so-called ‘reservist cells’, that in times of crises can be activated within 48 hours to switch to produce the necessary products and services. The concept starts from what is currently used in military environment or also in humanitarian relief, where ‘rapid response teams’ are constantly on stand-by, ready to be activated in case of a need. The basis is the RESERVIST network, a wide group of actors (companies, RTDs, enablers,… but also end-users) linked to providing medical equipment.

The idea is that at the moment of a trigger, the core partners used the defined ‘call-to-action’ for a quick check among the network to build an operational cell. That cell was defined depending on the precise need and availability of actors and was composed of four elements:

  1. a backbone network of core companies for manufacturing and testing;
  2. an extended network for further capacities (eg local provision, packaging, distribution, customization,etc.);
  3. a digital coordination platform; and
  4. a pool of experts from the companies of the network. These cells became operational in case of an emergency or pandemic but to make economic sense, the same approach of rapid flexibility and adaptability was used to deal with surging demand in ‘normal circumstances’.


To realize this concept, a first work was done on three levels individually: network level, connected manufacturing/digital manufacturing level and technical level, the latter referring to tweaking manufacturing lines, developing required materials and establishing links with testing/certification.

The Consortium also demonstrated the repurposing of 5 existing manufacturing lines within 48hrs towards manufacturing of textile protective and medical equipment, products and services (surgical and respiratory face masks, medical aprons), and ‘respiratory ventilators’ (invasive and non-invasive) that comply with necessary testing and certification and proceed with the embedment of the reservist cells at the partners in the network.

Blueprints were developed for further take-up and replication of the concept to other sectors. Within the project, two replication demos were developed: ‘disinfection equipment’ and ‘emergency medical equipment’. To support the Cells, the RESERVIST consortium taped  into the worldwide maker community and into relevant OITBs and networks.


The RESERVIST project came to an end on 31 May 2023, after 30 months of ongoing activities to prevent disastrous situations during future crisis by setting up ‘reservist cells’ that can be activated within 48 hours to produce necessary products and services. You can read more about the final results of the project here.

Should you be interested in getting more information about the RESERVIST project, please have a look at the following Deliverables: