RespiraCon (1)

RespiraCon II: Concept to Impact Conference

Jan. 29th (Sat.) 10:00 AM CDT to 1:30 PM CDT and

Jan. 30th (Sun.) 10:00 AM CDT to 1:30 PM CDT , 2022

Please register at EventBrite even though the event is free-of-charge to receive reminders and important notices.

Slides With Useful Links

This slide deck provides a general structure of the event and many useful links:

Link to come!

The Invitation

Format: Join us for 3.5 hours of 20-minute presentations and discussions with thought leaders, followed by 1.5 hours of additional social interaction in smaller groups.

Humanity needs to improve the delivery of respiratory care medical devices globally by democratizing their development, production, deployment and servicing. By using greater transparency, open-source techniques, and shared cooperative standards, we can build an open ecosystem of respiratory care medical devices, which will save millions of lives in the next ten years.

We seek to empower firms, big and small, in every nation to use safe and effective, modular, repairable, free-libre open source designs to manufacture life-saving medical devices and PPE.

This conference will focus on making personal connections between: students, mentors, engineers, entrepreneurs, investors, business people, clinicians, non-profits, and philanthropists.

The conference will address the entire lifecycle of technology, from conception of device, all the way to the lungs of a needy patient.

Special programming in the afternoons will focus topics of interest to students.

Social Interaction

In order to foster social interaction during the conference, we will be using the "Social Hour" video chat for post-speaker Q&A and for people to have side conversations, which we hope will occur frequently! We want to the attendees to make new friends and connections. When not enjoying a talk or a panel discussion in our Zoom room, please hang out in the Social Hour Lounge:

Link TBA

Tentative Event Schedule

Saturday (Times in US CST) Category Speaker Subject
10:00 AM  Intro Robert L. Read Welcome to a Global Conversation!

  • Fill in a map of participants
  • How to Make Connections and Have Conversations during the Conference
  • List of Conference Resolutions for Participants
  • Brief review of conference structure
10:15 AM Keynote Leith Greenslade Opening Keynote - Global Demand
10:45 AM Research Maria Oden University Research as a Starting Point
11:15 AM Research Gabriella Marcelja Sirius Global IMC
11:20 AM Supply Chain Alex Rothkopf, PATH Global Supply Chain Issues
11:50 AM Policy Panel

  • Andrew Lamb, FieldReady
  • Armapreet Rai
  • Victor Suturin
The Failure of the Global Pandemic Response: Can Open Source Help?
12:30 PM  Research Jenny Molloy GOSH and Open Source Science as a Model
1:00 PM Engineering Christina Cole, Sabrina Merlo, Victoria Jaqua, OSMS Success in Organizing and Providing Open Source PPE
1:30 PM Engineering Victor Suturin and Robert L. Read Introduction of Live Showcase
Live Interactive Showcase of Breakthrough Projects
  • Vaibhav Chhabra of M19 Oxygen Concentrator
  • Demos from PolyVent, HE, Global, PubInv, Veronica Stuckey
Sunday (Times in US CST) Speaker Subject
10:00 AM Intro Robert L. Read Welcome to the 2nd Day!
10:00 AM Regulatory Pierre Lonchampt Regulatory expert
10:20 AM  Regulatory Lawrence Kiliszewski The Missing Step: Manufacturing Plans
10:40 AM Engineering Debbie Aloyo, Gould Family Foundation Needs for African Medical Device Designs
11:00 AM Regulatory Final Panel

  • Dr. Nelson Evaborhene, Africa Leadership in Vaccinology Expertise Scholar (ALIVE), University of WItwatersrand, South Africa
  • Alejandra Velez, WHO
Regulatory Compliance and Testing Labs: How do we move forward?
11:40 AM Legal Jorge Contreras Legal Aspects of Open Source
12:10 AM Policy Robert L. Read  Freespireco and Sunlight regulatory
12:30 PM Keynote Dr. Nahreen Ahmed Closing Keynote
1:00 PM Policy Calls to Action and After Hours programming

-- The Rice BMES Hackathon

Robert L. Read
After Hours Programming Social rooms, chat with leaders, investors


Code of Conduct

To facilitate collaboration during this volunteer-run conference we are making open chat forums available for all participants, including young innovators joining us from across the world. There will be no tolerance for unprofessional conduct, bullying or derogatory statements. We expect both panelists and participants to refrain from divisive political messaging and debates.

We will immediately remove anyone violating this policy.

Speaker Bios


Robert L. Read

Public Invention President, Head Invention Coach

Robert L. Read is the founder and Head Invention Coach of Public Invention, a US 501c3 public charity that “Invents in the public, for the Public.” RespiraCon II is the 4th virtual conference related to the pandemic hosted by Public Invention. Rob has a PhD in Computer Science, and leads Public Invention projects in software, microelectronics, mechatronics, and mathematics. Public Invention is his attempt to extend the principles of the free-libre open source software movement to hardware and invention universally. Rob speaks Esperanto fluently.




Sabia Abidi

Public Invention Board Member, Rice University Professor

Sabia Abidi is a lecturer in the bioengineering department at Rice University and teaches courses in Systems Physiology, Troubleshooting of Clinical Lab Equipment, and Senior Design. Abidi has a doctorate in biomedical engineering from the University of Texas, Austin and completed postdoctoral research at NYU School of Medicine and MIT. She has research experience in stem cell differentiation methods, microbiological techniques and microfluidic technologies for hematopoietic associated disease applications, such as sickle cell anemia and malaria. She is committed to mentorship and STEM outreach through her advisory and mentor roles at Rice, IEEE WIE, Big Brother/Big Sister, and serving as a judge for Rice related and Future City competitions. In her spare time, she enjoys taking things apart and keeping her boys out of trouble.


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Victor Suturin

Co-Founder and Invention Coach, PolyVent

Victor is the co-founder and project leader of PolyVent. He is an entrepreneur and an inventor in the healthcare field, currently running Aliform - a medical device startup based in Aachen, Germany. He has a strong leadership and interdisciplinary science background with expertise in biomedical sciences, physiology, and medical device design.


Leith Greenslade is Co-founder and Coordinator of the Every Breath Counts Coalition, an alliance of 50 organizations from the public, private, and non-profit sectors working together to help low- and middle-income country governments reduce deaths from pneumonia, including from COVID-19. Every Breath Counts is a flagship initiative of JustActions, which Leith launched in 2016 to mobilize global action around ten initiatives with the power to accelerate progress to a more just world rapidly, sustainably, and irreversibly. She is a proud member of the Every Woman, Every Child movement and has served as a Vice Chair with the MDG Health Alliance, a network of leaders committed to accelerating the achievement of global health goals. Deeply committed to the power of new ideas, Leith established two global innovation teams to improve the health of vulnerable children, is a Board member of TEAMFund, and an adviser to several global health and development organizations. She has served on the US Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and in several positions with the Australian Government, including with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health, the Leader of the Federal Opposition, and the Shadow Minister for Social Security and the Status of Women. Leith holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Masters in Business Administration from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


My passion to serve the others together with my professional background have moved me to explore various edges related to Biomedical Engineering and Global Supply Chain. During more than 15 years I have been working in Clinical Engineering at both, program and field level, in different sectors (NGO, Public, Private) and settings (mainly in developing countries and emergency contexts). I have built the ability to assess in the whole life cycle of health technology, specifically for medical devices planning, procurement, implementation and management. I am interest in research about how to assess and improve access during the challenges of global public health emergencies.

Recently, I have been collaborating in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic as key member of the Clinical Pilar for Case Management and technical focal point for the Oxygen Access Scale Up initiative. My main responsibility has been to conduct the quality assurance and specifications of the biomedical equipment and oxygen sources procured by WHO. As well as being part of the multidisciplinary WHO Respiratory Panel were innovations, decontamination procedures and other issues related to the clinical management of patients are discussed.

This work has been enriched thanks to the experience gained at field level where I am learning to bridge the gap between the policies, technical guidance and operationalization of health technologies. I have had the opportunity to setup workshops and continues trainings for local technicians and medical staff with the aim to promote the effective and safe use of biomedical equipment.


Dr. Nahreen Ahmed is originally from the Greater Philadelphia area, alumnus of Drexel University College of Medicine, University of Illinois in Chicago Internal Medicine Residency Program and NYU/Bellevue Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship. She is currently Faculty in the division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She launched her Global Health Career by founding the Bangladesh Ultrasound Initiative, a training program in Point-of-Care Ultrasound for Critical Care physicians in Dhaka, Bangladesh and is currently the Head of Ultrasound for two non-profits, MedGlobal and Bridge to Health, bringing training in ultrasound and in acute and critical care to crisis zones such as Yemen, Syria, Gaza, Sierra Leone, and the Rohingya Refugee Camps in Bangladesh.



Pierre Lonchampt grew up, studied and started an engineering and academic career in France before embarking on an international journey in the world of medical technology spanning 15 years and three countries. He is now helping early-stage entrepreneurs in health-tech with diapason consulting, and supporting transparency as a means for safer, fairer and more efficient technology governance than traditional regulatory policies with When not working, he can be found playing music with his daughter or exploring various software or hardware tech with his son..


I am a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge where I research the potential for local, distributed manufacturing of enzymes to improve access and build capacity for biological research. I am also co-founder of three social enterprises and communities to make biological tools more accessible: Cambridge’s community biology lab Biomakespace, Beneficial Bio to support manufacturers fixing broken supply chains for enzymes and other tools and the Gathering for Open Science Hardware. My work all centers around building an open, sustainable and equitable global bioeconomy.



Maria Oden

As director of Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, an appointment received in 2008, Maria Oden orchestrates engineering education initiatives in the school of engineering that provide students from multiple departments in the George R. Brown School of Engineering, Wiess School of Natural Sciences, and the School of Humanities with unique hands-on design experience and opportunities to test and carry ideas to their intended point of application.


Nathaniel is a 16-year-old designer and prototyper for PolyVent, a public invention project. He spends most of his free time working on engineering projects, involving robotics, 3d printing, avionics, and other fields. He’s interested in changing the world with engineering.

Vaibhav Chhabra
Vaibhav Chhabra is a mechanical engineer by education but a carpenter by passion. A graduate from Boston University, Vaibhav spent the first 2 years of his career at EyeNetra, a startup from MIT Media Labs, building portable Virtual Reality based eye diagnostic devices. While working with the rural community in India for his eye diagnostic prototype, Vaibhav founded ‘Maker's Asylum.’ Maker’s Asylum is a community space focussed on fostering innovation through hands on learning. The space houses various labs that are co-located in order to facilitate prototyping of ideas that are interdisciplinary in nature. Vaibhav essentially coupled his degree with his passion to create the first community Makerspace in India. The key focus of this space is to foster education in areas of hardware, design & sustainability. In his leisure time Vaibhav enjoys making furniture, photography and winning at ping pong. He is also the Chair for innovation and entrepreneurship at Young Indians – Confederation of Indian Industries, a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum and part of the French President's Young Leaders Club.

Gabriella is the co-founder and president of SIRIUS GLOBAL - Academic Diplomacy 4.0, leading INGO based in Rome (Italy) in the sector of education, innovation and science diplomacy as well as founding member of the International Medical Community and the Impact Innovation Alliance, which she presides. She is also engaged as the Impact, Partnerships and Strategy manager at finothek GmbH, the Austrian company behind, the first microadvisory marketplace for business consultancy, and, a bank robo advisor for alternative financing solutions. Being an advisor in complex international legal cases and consultant for innovative projects and a lecturer and moderator at international economic and legal forums, Gabriella is often being invited to be a speaker on law and new disruptive technologies, sustainable development and science diplomacy.


Christina is Head of Documentation at Open Source Medical Supplies. She has a background in healthcare documentation and previously worked in the medical-legal sector. She is co-founder of REAP Center, a non-profit permaculture demonstration site with makerspaces. She enjoys raising rabbits, metalworking, and upcycling just about everything. She is a strong supporter of the open-source movement and believes people should have access to the resources they need to solve problems within their communities and beyond.


Jorge Contreras (JD, Harvard; BA, BSEE, Rice) is a Presidential Scholar and Professor of Law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in Salt Lake City, Utah. His research focuses on intellectual property, antitrust law and science policy. He has written or edited ten books and more than one hundred scholarly articles and chapters on these topics and was one of the founders of the Open COVID Pledge, a framework for the contribution of intellectual property to the fight against COVID-19. His book "The Genome Defense: Inside the Epic Battle to Determine Who Owns Your DNA" was recently published.


Larry Kiliszewski has worked in design engineering for 28 years. Primarily self-taught, he has worked through the ranks from draftsman at RICON-VMI, to Product Engineer at Medtronic Diabetes. Since 2003, Larry has built a design firm which today employs several engineers of varying expertise. Specializing in medical devices since 2012, Larry’s business has developed many products that are currently impacting lives across the world. The primary asset which sets his business apart from others, is the “design for manufacturing” and “design control” approaches they apply to an idea once a POC is complete. Larry holds 13 US and International patents and various client awards.

Amarpreet Rai

Amarpreet Rai is Co-Founder and Director of Operations and Development at Sanrai International, an industry leading medical device distribution company focused on the emerging markets. With a clear understanding of the challenges in global logistics, country specific nuances, and market forces, she has successfully brought innovative devices to long underserved markets improving quality of life and positively impacting disease outcomes in more than 50 countries. Under her leadership over the last 20 months, the organisation has successfully coordinated between multiple manufacturers, logistics, and supply chain challenges in bringing oxygen to save lives during the crises created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Her vision is for Sanrai to continue sustainably improving access to best in world medical devices with its signature service and support achieving healthcare equity across the globe.

Alex Rothkopf

Dr. Alex Rothkopf (he/his) is a Supply Chain Management and Data Science Consultant with PATH’s Market Dynamics team. His research, policy advisory and consulting work focus on supply chains in global health and disaster response in low-and-middle-income countries. Dr. Rothkopf uses data and advanced data science models to provide insights to global health organizations. His analyses have changed organizations’ strategies and operations management approaches, resulting in lower cost, more people served, and better preparedness against uncertain events. Previously, he worked at the Humanitarian Supply Chain Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and as the Founder and Lead of the Global Health Supply Chain Research Group at the Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg.


Victoria is a board member at Public Invention and Medical Community Lead at OSMS. She focuses on design development tracking and fostering relationships between designers, makers, partner organizations, and healthcare professionals. When not fulfilling her roles at these two organizations, Victoria works full-time as an imaging technologist specializing in cardiac catheterization procedures. She believes the world is moving toward a more decentralized and democratized approach to healthcare, and spends much of her time analysing data and trend movement in relation to the next ten years.


Sabrina Merlo served as Local Response Lead at Open Source Medical Supplies, building an international community of practice across makers, manufacturers, designers, crafters, and medical professionals working in their communities to design, produce and deliver medical supplies during the COVID-19 supply chain crises. Prior to OSMS, Sabrina was one of the creators of Maker Faire, the internationally recognized festival brand celebrating makers and creative culture. She spent 10 years with Maker Faire, curating content for flagship events, and building a global network of events in 44 countries reaching 1.4M people annually. Sabrina is currently working on field strategy in public sector technology for the Ford Foundation.


Nelson Evaborhrene

Nelson Aghogho Evaborhene is a medical doctor with over six years experience working across the various levels of the Nigerian health sector. He has written extensively in informing and advising policy response on COVID-19 in Africa. He completed his medical studies from Delta State University, Abraka and also holds a MSc in Global Health and Development from University College London. Currently, he works as a consultant for 1dayafrica, a nonprofit advocacy for vaccine equity and medical research in Africa. He is an Africa Leadership in Vaccinology Expertise (ALIVE) scholar, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa


Deborah Aloyo is a biomedical engineer passionate about developing sustainable biomedical programs for health facilities in Africa. Through her work with Gould Family Foundation from 2017 to date, Deborah has supported over 20 health facilities in Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Togo, Madagascar and Congo develop functional biomedical programs that support clinicians and management of these health facilities plan, budget, purchase, standardize and effectively utilize medical equipment. She has helped establish 2 functional NICUs and 2 Operating rooms in very hard to reach areas in DR Congo and Burundi using equipment and technologies suitable for areas with no electricity and limited accessibility to medical gases. In 2019 she was promoted to manager biomedical programs and operations of Gould Family Foundation. As her passion for biomedical engineering in Africa continues to grow and evolve, she is dedicated to change the status quo “biomedical support is only needed when medical equipment breakdown”