NGen earmarks $6 million more for COVID projects
Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led organization behind Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, has announced an additional $6 million in funding for projects dedicated to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.
Three Canadian companies will benefit from funding under NGen’s commitment to invest $50 million to support companies as they rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by building a Canadian supply of critically needed technologies, equipment, and medical devices to aid in the fight against COVID-19.
Cloud DX, based in Kitchener, Ont., has received $1.75 million from NGen, representing 50 per cent of the total project cost of $3.5 million, to develop Pulsewave 2.0, a solution to remotely monitor COVID 19 patients with non-acute symptoms who have been sent home from the hospital but may require virtual care at home to fully recover. “Once production begins, Pulsewave 2.0 will be one of the only Health Canada-authorized medical devices that simultaneously gathers heart rate, respiration rate and blood pressure remotely from patients at home,” said Robert Kaul, CEO, Cloud DX. “Our solution is one key to helping Canadian healthcare providers monitor thousands of COVID-19 presumptive patients day after day, and to facilitating COVID-19 recovery by helping doctors to quickly identify and focus on those patients whose conditions have worsened.”
Exacad, based in Boisbriand, Que., has received $1.8 million from NGen, covering 100 per cent of the total project cost related to the purchase of new equipment, which will contribute to the increased production of advanced plastic medical molds to produce the plastic consumables needed for rapid diagnostics related to COVID-19. “Shortage of plastic consumables for rapid diagnostics is one of the major issues facing Canada in its COVID-19 response. Exacad is well positioned to meet this need by providing the molds that will be critical for the deployment of medical diagnostics and treatments for Canada’s current and future demand,” said Francois Tremblay, President, Exacad.
Myant, based in Toronto, Ont., has received $2.5 million from NGen, representing 50 per cent of the total project cost of almost $5 million, to manufacture and deploy the company’s textile-based wearable health monitoring system (called Skiin). Myant knits sensors and actuators into everyday textiles, giving them the ability to sense and react to the human body. The system will enable remote detection and triaging of COVID-19 symptoms, provide patients who have limited connection to care (such as those in elder care homes, remote indigenous communities, women’s shelters, homeless shelters, etc.) with access to telemedicine, and minimize risk to front-line healthcare workers. “By enabling patients to be remotely triaged and monitored on a continuous basis via biometrics captured by Skiin garments, Myant hopes to help the healthcare system optimize their resources for COVID-19 screening and keep patients connected to care in a time where physically travelling to a care facility may mean increased risk of exposure,” said Tony Chahine, CEO, Myant.
“During an unprecedented and challenging time, Canada’s advanced manufacturing companies have really stepped up to the plate and developed innovative solutions that will save lives and improve healthcare,” said Jayson Myers, CEO, NGen. “Every single one of these new manufacturing technologies will not only meet the immediate demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also build world leading capabilities in Canadian manufacturing innovation that will support the future well-being and economic prosperity of Canadians as we move forward.”
In March, NGen launched its Rapid Response Funding Program to launch production of innovative manufacturing solutions that could contribute in the fight against COVID-19. To date, NGen has supported a total of 19 projects amounting to $27 million in funding to Canadian companies undertaking advanced manufacturing initiatives to help address the COVID-19 pandemic.