Canadian Manufacturing

NGen announces $27 million in funding for winners of the Strategic Supply Challenge

NGen funding to support domestic advanced manufacturing efforts combating COVID-19

January 21, 2021  by CM Staff

Business manager using tablet check and control advanced manufacturing capabilities.

HAMILTON — Next Generation Manufacturing Canada is the organization behind growing Canada’s advanced manufacturing supercluster, and on Jan. 20, they’ve announced over $27 million in new funding for manufacturers involved in creating pandemic solutions.

The competition ran in the summer of 2020 and challenged companies to use advanced manufacturing practices to build a domestic, cost-competitive supply of critical products that can be used in Canada’s fight against COVID-19, but also beyond. The competition saw 12 winners in total, and the total investment tops $60 million in funding.

Jason Myers, the CEO of NGen, recognized the advanced manufacturing potential post-pandemic as well.

“These processes and technologies will help meet the immediate needs created by COVID-19, but also help to develop a sustainable and globally competitive domestic supply that can be applied to industry needs beyond the pandemic as well.”

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The winning projects were selected based on the critical needs identified by the Canadian government, and the long-term viability of manufacturing the products in Canada while meeting the required production quality standards.

PROJECT WINNERS:

  1. Providence Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (Toronto, ON) and partnered with Northern RNA Inc. are together working on the development of a made-in-Canada COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. The funding will help to bolster domestic vaccine and drug manufacturing so Canadians would be less reliant on looking abroad for external solutions.
  2. The BIG-nano Corporation (Waterloo, ON) in partnership with Swenco, IPC Technologies and APC Filtration and Titan Clean Energy Project Corp. have developed a project to apply melt blown nanofiber filter material in the production of PPE and air purification filters. Compared to conventional microfiber filter, nanofiber filter media has higher efficiency, longer filter life and easier breathability. The funding will help to reduce Canada’s reliance on foreign suppliers for nanofiber meltblown material.
  3. McRae Imaging (Mississauga, ON) in partnership with DOT Automation and Lumentra Inc. are developing an advanced manufacturing facility for the production of nanomaterial fabrics that can create an antimicrobial shield. The product will act as a seat cover that provides a virus-proof barrier for up to 5 months, suitable for locations where disinfecting between uses is not easy, such as movie theatres, stadiums, classrooms etc.
  4. Fine Cotton Factory (Etobicoke, ON) in partnership with Microbonds Inc. to apply copper infused antimicrobial textile materials to produce reliable, reusable materials for PPE applications. This application is intended to also explore the long-term viability of the ongoing development of metal-infused textile manufacturing in healthcare.
  5. Fidelity Machine & Mould (Calgary, AB) has partnered with Sentient Tools Engineering Corp. to improve the manufacturing process of surgical and procedural face masks. The funding will be used to develop fully automated production equipment, creating a recycling module to reuse waste materials, and use alternative materials to produce filtration layers.
  6. IPC Technologies (Cambridge, ON) is partnering with BIG-nano to produce a disposable, self-sanitizing N100 face masks. This new mask will elevate the filtration bar for performance higher than the current N95 masks. The partnership will enable the development of spin-off products that can be applied to industrial and consumer products such as HVAC filters.
  7. Molded Precision Components (MPC) (Oro Medonte, ON) in partnership with Niigon Machines Ltd. to develop systems capable of producing and packaging hand sanitizer and other liquids continuously. MPS is creating an Advanced Manufacturing Business Park to develop and create these solutions vertically from beginning to end with the use of their injection molding operations.
  8. Titan Clean Energy Project Corp. (Craik, SK) is partnering with Panther Industries Inc., BIG-nano, K+S Potash Canada and Canada Masq to develop a 100% Canadian supply of biodegradable melt blown fabric for use in PPE and HEPA filters. The project will use 100% renewable Canadian biomaterials, replacing the polluting fossil-fuel derived imports from abroad, improve Canada’s climate footprint.
  9. Carmina De Young Fashion Design Inc. (London, ON) is partnering with Lifecycle Revive Inc. to develop a sustainable supply chain for 100% Canadian-made isolation gowns and related PPE such as coveralls, masks, caps and foot covers. They will reclaim polypropylene waste from hospitals and reprocess, remove contaminants and ensure the products meet Health Canada standards before re-use.
  10. Artofix (Longueuil, QC) in partnership with Roswell DHT to produce a high-quality N95 respirator using Roswell’s meltblown filter material that is hypoallergenic and sourced in Canada. The Artofix N95 supply chain is entirely Canadian and will strengthen a variety of Canadian industries.
  11. International Point of Care Inc. (Toronto, ON) is in partnership with Precision Biomonitoring Inc. and Suncor Energy Inc. to expand the capacity of their advanced manufacturing facilities to develop novel test systems for reagents and assay components in virus tests.
  12. Novo Textile Company (Coquitlam, BC) is partnering with Harbour Technologies to manufacture the first Made in Canada N99, PFE99, and N95/PFE95 machine to produce cup shaped molded respirators. The surgical respirators will help to alleviate a pandemic demand and will be custom-fit and using custom-products, to provide the highest level of quality in the Canadian marketplace based on patient needs.