IRAP COVID19 Masks Researcher

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continuing to spread throughout the world, the need to provide citizens with protective and sanitary equipment is a must as many cities across Canada, including Toronto, begin to mandate new bylaws which will enforce the regular usage of masks in public areas.

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has invested $200,000 in three Canadian companies to research and develop alternative materials to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Together with Innovative Solutions Canada, NRC’s COVID-19 Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) aims at supporting small and medium-sized businesses as they advance near-to-market solutions to help meet COVID-19-related needs. The goal with IRAP’s first round of COVID-19-allocated funding is to have working prototypes of Canadian-sourced-and-made alternative filtration and mask methods ready to go into production by late summer of 2020. This will assist overall health and safety throughout Canada by preventing and reducing the spread of COVID-19.

How Will the $200k NRC IRAP COVID-19 Funding Be Distributed?

The three recipients of NRC-IRAP and Innovative Solutions Canada government funding are Performance BioFilaments, Roswell Downhole Technologies, and Stedfast Inc.

The biggest portion of the research and development grant is being allocated to Performance BioFilaments, a company with major multi-national shareholder support from Mercer International and Resolute Forest Products. Their aim is to provide everyday products created through renewable and sustainable resources with the goal of future economic and environmental success. Performance BioFilaments is receiving a $102,524 grant to research and develop recyclable and/or compostable cellulose-based filtration materials that they hope will environmentally improve the high usage of N95 respirators and surgical masks among front-line health workers.

A significant $70,253 of the IRAP COVID-19 funding is being invested into Roswell Downhole Technologies, a leading TEC manufacturing company committed to producing high quality products with 100% of their own in-house design and implementation. They will focus on using their grant to research and develop the rapid reconfiguration of plastic extrusion equipment in order to manufacture innovative Canadian-sourced-and-made N95 filtration material.

A further $32,570 of the NRC’s $200,000 research and development funding towards preventative COVID-19 innovative materials is being granted to Stedfast Inc., a world leader in developing protective barriers using specialized coated and laminated materials. Stedfast Inc. will aim to develop washable masks with protective barriers using coated fabrics that will be thoroughly tested for the highest level of efficiency to reduce public spread of the virus. They also plan to develop a prototype N95 respirator, surgical masks, and community masks to be used in ongoing prevention initiatives against COVID-19.

The overall purpose of this NRC-IRAP and Innovative Solutions Canada government funding program is to provide financial assistance to these three SMEs (defined as having fewer than 500 employees) towards the research and development of alternative COVID-19 filtration materials, while also helping to boost the Canadian economy by using locally sourced and made materials.

Learn More About COVID-19 NRC-IRAP Funding

The NRC-IRAP COVID-19 funding program focuses on helping small-to-medium-sized Canadian businesses by providing government funding towards COVID-19 research and development of new, alternative solutions with the goal of strengthening the health and safety of Canadians across the country.

Learn more about the Canadian government grants from NRC-IRAP available to you by reaching out to a member of the Mentor Works Team or visit our COVID-19 Support Page to view additional government funding programs that could support your business’ solutions towards preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Make sure to stay up to date with the Mentor Works email newsletter for the latest information and updates on new government funding as it becomes available in Canada. Sign up for our Mentor Works Weekly Funding Newsletter.

 

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Written by

Alena Barreca has worked in a variety of media communications roles in numerous industries. As a Marketing Coordinator at Mentor Works, Alena enjoys utilizing her creative and analytical mind to help strengthen ongoing marketing strategies.

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