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Ontario helps manufacturers ramp up production of PPE

Ontario helps manufacturers ramp up production of PPE

TORONTO — Three more Ontario manufacturers – Southmedic, Sterling Industries and SRB Technologies – are receiving financial support through the provincial government’s Ontario Together Fund to retool their processes and increase their capacity to make personal protective equipment (PPE).

In March, the government launched the Ontario Together web portal, calling Ontario’s manufacturers, entrepreneurs and innovators to provide essential supplies and equipment to support frontline workers in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 1, the government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the  web portal and help businesses retool their operations, indicates a government release issued in June, adding all submissions received through the portal are being reviewed and prioritized to focus on solutions that can respond to where the need is greatest and what can be implemented quickly.

SRB Technologies is a Pembroke, Ont.-based producer of self-powered emergency lighting and self-powered exit signs. The province is providing $59,889 to help the company convert a portion of its production from emergency lighting solutions for the nuclear, aerospace, construction and defence sectors to manufacturing medical-grade face shields, which will be supplied to regional hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Southmedic is a Barrie, Ont.-based medical device manufacturer. The province is providing $1.8 million to help the company reengineer and retool its current production and purchase new moulding equipment which will double its output of oxygen masks, triple its output of ETCO2 masks and quadruple its output of eye and face shields.

Concord, Ont.-based Sterling Industries is a contract manufacturer and assembler of medical devices and sub-components. The province is providing over $1 million, which will allow the company to increase its output of face shields from 200,000 per week to more than a million per week to help the company deliver 10 million face shields to Ontario Health more quickly.

“Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Ontario businesses have shown incredible collaboration, resilience and determination to tackle this crisis,” said Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade, in the statement. “Many of our innovators have stepped up to help produce much needed medical supplies. Now that we’re in the first stage of restarting our economy, I encourage all businesses to keep innovating and review our provincial safety guidelines in order to protect their employees in this new environment.”

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