Canadian Manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing supercluster innovators battle COVID-19

NGen is investing $21-million in projects to make ventilators, components, test kits, face shields and a coating that kills bacteria and viruses on contact

May 4, 2020  by CM Staff

HAMILTON — Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) is advancing the war against COVID-19 with a $21-million investment in projects to produce technologies, equipment and medical devices.

The Hamilton-based industry-led organization behind Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster announced its funding program in late March and has received 900 queries from manufacturers.

“Manufacturers across Canada have stepped up to the challenge. Their capacity to innovative and mobilize advanced technologies has allowed them to respond rapidly, both in scaling up production of health care products and in delivering new solutions to front-line workers,” said Jayson Myers, CEO, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada.

Approved projects include ventilators and components, test kits, face shields and a coating material that kills bacteria and viruses on contact. Here are some of the projects:

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Canadian Emergency Ventilators Inc./Starfish Medical (Toronto)
The “Winnipeg Ventilator” from Canadian Emergency Ventilators Inc./Starfish Medical in Toronto is suitable for large scale manufacturing and use during the COVID-19 crisis. A functional system has been developed, assembled and tested that demonstrates the functional performance of the device in healthcare settings. The core technology has also been licensed and cleared for use by the FDA in the US.

BOMImed (Winnipeg)
BOMImed in Winnipeg manufactures and distributes airway management, anesthesia, critical care, warming therapy and patient monitoring products. It’s collaborating Synergy Mouldworks in Brantford, Ont., and Precision ADM in Winnipeg to make high-quality, fast-to-produce and cost-effective ventilator breathing circuit components.

Molded Precision Components (Oro-Medonte, Ont.)
Molded Precision Components (MPC), a full-service engineering and injection moulding company, is working with Sterling Industries (Concord, Ont.),  to mass produce a personal protective face shield. MPC will be moulding the head band strap portion, and Sterling the shield portion. MPC expects to produce up to 5,000 face shields per day.

Mosaic (Toronto)
Digital manufacturer Mosaic in Toronto is using 3D printing technology and multi-material printing processes to produce a wide range of products. It will produce and distribute 45,000 face shields over a three-month period.

Burloak Technologies (Burlington, Ont.)
A full face shield brings together Burloak Technologies, a supplier of precision manufactured 3D printed metal parts to the aerospace industry, and Hamilton Health Sciences. The prototype product is in trial and Burloak is tooling up to be producing 5,000 pieces per week.

Sona Nanotech (Halifax)
A rapid point-of-care test to screen for coronavirus is in development by Sona Nanotech in Halifax, which is using its proprietary nanotechnology. The test is expected to produce results in five to 15 minutes and is anticipated to be priced similarly to other tests used to diagnose infectious diseases.

Response Biomedical (Vancouver)
Using its proprietary RAMP fluorescent-based lateral-flow platform technology, Response Biomedical Corp. (RBM) aims to produce at a large scale a rapid, economical and accurate COVID-19 diagnostic test for use in point-of-care settings near patients or in the community. The novel SARS-Coronavirus-2 RAMP Point-of-Care test will enable the rapid and accurate triaging of patients presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 in 15 minutes or less.

Envision SQ Inc. (Guelph, Ont.)

A joint effort involving University of Guelph and EnvisionSQ in Guelph, Ont. is developing an innovative self-sterilization clear coating product (EnvisionSQ Clear Coating – NanoCleanSQ) that easily applies to hard surfaces to help prevent spread of the COVVID-19. It kills bacteria and viruses on contact, particularly coronaviruses, and is safe and durable, providing long-lasting antibacterial and antiviral protection. Funding will allow EnvisionSQ to scale up production within 12 weeks to produce more than 1,000 litres per week, enough product to protect over 1 million doorknobs, 75,000 km of handrails, or the interiors of 8750 elevators, 400 city buses or 200 passenger airplanes per week.


Related: Guelph, Ont., firm cleaning air through light-powered filters


NGen worked closely with the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Canada’s National Research Council, Health Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada to prioritize projects for funding that will deliver the most immediate benefits to Canadians.