Badger Shield Open-Source PPE Wins IDSA IDEA Gold

The Industrial Designers Society of America gave a 2021 IDEA Award Gold for Social Impact Design to Badger Shield, an open-source PPE project started during the pandemic by Delve, the University of Wisconsin, and Midwest Prototyping.

The Social Impact Design category recognizes products or services designed for the majority, public spaces, government, the environment, or humanitarian and non-governmental organizations.

The Badger Shield project grew out of a user need for personal protection equipment. In March 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic straining hospital capacity and shutting down global supply chains, healthcare facilities faced a desperate shortage of PPE.

Delve and our partners designed the Badger Shield platform to enable rapid distribution to smaller medical facilities and essential workers. The design was shared freely online, and an online portal was created to help match organizations who needed face shields with manufacturers able to assemble and distribute them.

Healthcare systems requested 5.5 million units within weeks of launch. More than 400 manufacturers, including giants like Apple and Ford Motor Company, combined forces for an output of 2 million face shields per day.

Not only did the Badger Shield platform get face shields to those who sorely needed them, it also provided local and regional manufacturers with a reason to keep their plants running and their staffs employed during a time when other producers were shutting down.

"Delve and the Badger Shield team is grateful and honored by the recognition," said Jesse Darley, principal and director of mechanical engineering at Delve. "It has been incredible to watch this project transform from a local grassroots effort of three core contributors into a global network of 400 manufacturers and makers. Without their help, Badger Shield would not have had such a positive impact on so many.”

This is Delve’s sixth IDEA Award and its second Gold.

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