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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case LV-2020-12/708 – measures in Latvia

Hackathon contest leads to the production of Shield48 face shields

Shield48 sejas vairogi

Country Latvia , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 21 March 2020
Type Company practices
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Change of production/innovation
Author Kriss Karnitis (EPC) and Eurofound
Case created 16 April 2020 (updated 07 May 2020)

Background information

On 19 March 2020 during the HackForce, the first virtual hackathon in Latvia, 28 hackathon ideas aimed to find solutions for the crisis caused by Covid-19 outbreak were confronted. The winner team of hackathon, Shield48, in consultation with the specialists at Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital, designed first prototypes of face shields.

For further development of the project, the team was rewarded with EUR 12,000, of which EUR 10,000 was allocated by the Ministry of Economy in cooperation with the Latvian Investment and Development Agency,and EUR 2,000 – from private companies.

Content of measure

Up to 17 April 2020, the company has manufactured and delivered around 20,000 face shields to almost 400 customers in Latvia. Company also informs, that it has exported 950 face shields to the UK, Germany, Canada and the US. The Latvian Development finance institution ALTUM has granted a 100,000 EUR loan to Shield48. Latvian National Health Service has ordered and Shield48 has produced and delivered 10,000 face shields to State. The company uses 3D printing for some components of face shield. Other alternatives are also available in marked up to date. However, Shield48 being the first player in market, has gained from high publicity and cooperation with state and medical institutions.

Use of measure

Already completed Shield48 face shield orders in Latvia:

4,694 face shields for 1,233 General Practitioner practices (ordered by the National Health Service); 920 face shields for 29 regional medical institutions (ordered by the National Health Service); 4,400 face shields for Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital (PSKUS), Riga East Clinical University Hospital (RAKUS), Children’s Clinical University Hospital (BKUS) in Riga; 3,393 face shields 155 other Latvian state and municipal, private medical institutions and pharmacies; 2,124 face shields for 33 other state and local government institutions; 3,123 face shields for 187 trade, manufacturing and service companies and individuals.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Start-ups
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Company level



Views and reactions

No involvement.


  • 14 April 2020: Shield48 has produced around 20,000 face shields and started exporting (
  • 20 April 2020: HackForce hackathon solutions are already being implemented (


Eurofound (2020), Hackathon contest leads to the production of Shield48 face shields, case LV-2020-12/708 (measures in Latvia), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.