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NGen invests $6M in three manufacturing projects responding to COVID-19


Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) has announced an additional $6 million in funding for three projects dedicated to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.

The funds are part of a $50-million investment by NGen, the industry-led organization behind Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, for manufacturers rapidly responding to COVID-19.

To date, NGen has supported a total of 19 projects amounting to $27 million as part of the Rapid Response Funding Program.

Cloud DX, based in Kitchener, Ontario, 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.

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“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,” says Robert Kaul, CEO, Cloud DX, in a statement.

“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, Quebec, has received $1.8 million from NGen, covering the entire cost of new equipment, that will contribute to the increased production of advanced plastic medical molds to produce the plastic consumables needed for rapid diagnostics related to COVID-19.

Myant, based in Toronto, 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.

“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,” says 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.