Yusuf Bilesanmi is a 37-year-old Nigerian who came from a humble background. He had his first degree at Lagos State University where he studied Law before he switched paths later to science and engineering.
Bilesanmi has used all his life to learn and become a master in his chosen profession. He has a Bachelor of Science in Information and Communications Technology from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Oita, Japan) and a Masters of Science in Information Systems from Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan). He has worked with multinationals – Panasonic Corporation as a Market and Life Research Analyst and with Mitsubishi Corporation as a Business Lead for Power and Infrastructure. He later had a post-graduate study at Cambridge University (CISL) on Corporate Sustainability. Presently, he is taking up a Ph.D. under the Energy Resilience and the Built Environment(ERBE) program at the University of Loughborough.
Bilesanmi addresses himself as an energy and infrastructure business developer and consultant, with the aim to enhance operational efficiency and maximize profitability for businesses and the wider society. He has close to 10years of working experience in cleantech, smart grid, and digital factories to foster decarbonization, decentralization, and digitization of energy across the value chain. He currently runs a start-up supporting power generation in the UK energy market
Recently, Bilesanmi founded Shifa Technologies Limited in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting deaths associated with a shortage of ventilators across the nations. As seen on the official website of the company, the team, who made up the company with Bilesanmi as Lead, came together with the primary objective of researching, designing, testing, producing, commercializing, and supplying low-cost ventilators to support health facilities to meet the growing demand, as well as to maximize technology.
Several countries around the world have continued to think of innovative ways to lessen the burden on hospitals in the midst of a shortage of critical medical equipment. The creation of Shifa Technologies Limited is undoubtedly one of the needs of the hour. Innovative Bilesanmi with the team has eventually rescued the situation by developing a one-of-a-kind apparatus called the ShiVent ventilator.
ShiVent is a low-cost, non-electric, and non-invasive ventilator for patients with respiratory difficulties. Explaining how it works, he said, “ShiVent does not require electricity, it is easy to install, non-invasive, and oxygen-efficient, and our belief is that it will help save lives when more expensive or oxygen-intensive technologies can’t get to patients. The system works by connecting hospital patients to an existing oxygen source and blends air with the high-flow oxygen supply. The patient inhales oxygen to fill up the lungs and then exhales into a water column, creating back-end pressure that keeps their airway open.”
“The team carried out a demonstration of the ShiVent at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in May to test the safety and efficacy of the product. The ShiVent has passed three functionality tests and they have just begun clinical trials, which will swiftly be followed up by mass production and distribution to markets of interest,“ Bilesanmi said.
Meanwhile, at an Africa Prize One to Watch award from the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK, Bilesanmi accompanied by his team of 12, pitched their project idea to a live online audience who voted for the design. The vote was made by choosing the most promising idea that has great potential for impact, of which theirs met the requirements. This was made known in a statement from Loughborough University and led to their victory.
Expressing his excitement, he said, “I was dumbfounded and super-elated. I couldn’t believe we had won. It makes all the difference in the work we have done and the support we have received from the Loughborough community,” he told the university in an interview.
He added that his goal is to get the ventilator across to those who need it the most across Africa, Asia, and South America, according to the Royal Academy of Engineering.
This is a laudable feat.