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Eclipse Automation’s innovation arm receives over $1.4M from Ontario for N95 production


Photo: Eclipse Automation

Eclipse Innovations, the incubator launched by Eclipse Automation earlier this year, is receiving over $1.4 million from the Ontario government to scale up its manufacture of N95 masks.

The Cambridge-based company is receiving $1,408,475 from the $50-million Ontario Together Fund to increase the capacity of Ontario-made personal protective equipment (PPE).

The funding announcement was made today at the company’s facility by Premier Doug Ford and Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade.

Eclipse Innovations will create the capacity to manufacture N95 respirators, enabling it to bring a qualified, domestically produced N95 respirator to market.

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N95 respirators filter 95 per cent of airborne particles, making it highly effective in protecting the wearer from airborne pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria that could damage the respiratory tract.

By adding this new capacity, Eclipse Innovations will be able to make one million N95 respirators per week.

“Eclipse is a company that does not stand still, especially at a critical time like now. We are nimble and ready to take action, and that’s exactly what we did when we established Eclipse Innovations,” said Steve Mai, CEO of Eclipse Innovations, in a statement.

When the outbreak of COVID-19 hit, Eclipse quickly pivoted its business and collaborated with global players IREMA and Harmontronics to create a solution to design, produce and distribute N95 respirators for the domestic market.

This investment will also allow Eclipse to develop a range of different mask sizes and styles, such as horizontal and vertical fold, providing multiple options for an optimal fit. This is important because, for a N95 respirator to work effectively, it must properly fit the face of the wearer.

Eclipse also has a partnership with Conestoga College for the development of a N95 predictive fit testing software using facial scanning technology.

“Businesses like Eclipse Innovations have stepped up with solutions to help at a critical time. Together with our entrepreneurs and innovators, we will ensure Ontario has the factories, plants, and assembly lines to respond to any future crisis, should the need ever arise,” said Fedeli.

Today also marked the beginning of Ford’s tour to acknowledge and thank local businesses and individuals across the province who have stepped up to help out during the outbreak of COVID-19.

Eclipse Automation is a manufacturer of custom automated equipment for the life sciences, energy, transportation, consumer, industrial and electronics industries. The company has 450 Ontario-based employees and this project will include the creation of 17 new permanent full-time jobs at Eclipse Innovations.