Healthcare: Italy wins NATO tender to build hi-tech and eco-sustainable ‘turnkey’ hospitals

An innovative and eco-sustainable technology developed by the company R.I. (Research and Innovation) in Apulia, jointly with ENEA and other partners, has won the international tender of the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) for the construction of four hi-tech field hospitals.

The supply, destined to the Italian Army, due to the COVID-19 emergency will be delivered three months in advance of forecasts and in any case by 2020. The hospitals will be equipped with state-of-the-art technological systems and organized in “Shelters” or interconnected panels and curtains, divided into Triage, First Aid, Radiographic and Ultrasound Laboratory, Surgical Preparatory Room, Operating Room, Auxiliary Operating Room, Hospitalization, Pharmacy and Management Area.

“We are very proud of this award, for which we competed with the main European players – Giovanni Violante, RI General Manager pointed out – We have been working for over thirty years in the sector of design and development of modular construction systems – technological shelters – logistics equipment; our core business is the construction of entire compounds for civil and military use with the ‘turnkey’ formula, supported by significant investments in research and development programs for new materials, new technologies and innovative and eco-friendly design solutions ” he added.

The hi-tech hospital prototype was created as part of the project SOS (Study of advanced materials and development of light, multifunctional, smart, reconfigurable and sustainable panels for Smart Operating Shelter applications), co-financed by the Puglia Region through the Call Innonetwork with the R.I. itself as leader, PROTOM GROUP S.p.A., KINEMA S.r.l., MESPO by Sportelli Giuseppe and Memetaj Bledar S.n.c. and ENA Consulting S.r.l. with R&D support by CETMA, Polytechnic of Bari and ENEA.

“The goal of the project is to develop advanced and eco-sustainable materials for multifunctional, smart structural panels for surgical hospital structures, ready for use in a few hours without the need for specialized staff to assembly them, and providing satellite consultations also through intra-operative CT imaging. These solutions can address different needs, like guaranteeing that services continue operating effectively during emergencies such as the one we are going through” pointed out Vincenza Luprano, specialized in the development of innovative materials for the sustainability of the building sector at the ENEA Brindisi Research Center.

The eco-sustainable panels were made with local plant materials, such as hemp, or of animal origin (sheep’s wool) and treated with natural substances to increase resistance to mold and fungi; tests were also conducted to evaluate accelerated aging and thermal validation processes as well as indoor monitoring to verify healthiness and comfort.

To date R.I. is leader in supporting the most important international civil and military emergency response missions in Afghanistan, Albania, Djibouti, Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mali and the United Arab Emirates, and since 2009 it has been the world’s leading supplier of the United Nations for the “Ablution” (monoblocs of stainless steel toilets) with a specific turnover of around 40 million euro and the Telescopic Armored Towers, with a Long Term Agreement of approximately 30 million euro. It is also leader in the development of TecnoShelter both for ForceProtection systems and healthcare solutions.

Among the main customers are the United Nations, the Ministries of Defense and the Interior, NATO, the European Union, government agencies and international companies. The main production plant and the R.I. are located in Lecce with other factories in Kosovo, Lebanon and Djibouti.

The R.I. Group received the award for the construction of shelters for mobile hospital with innovative, eco-sustainable, interconnected and easy to assemble materials for the “Modular Healtcare” category at the World of Modular 2020, a prestigious world event in the modular construction sector organized by the Modular Building Institute.

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