In March 2020, NGen launched a challenge program to address urgent needs at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The challenge funded projects that pursued a rapid production launch of products in short supply, including virus screening test kits, gloves, gowns, masks, and other personal protective equipment, hospital equipment such as ventilators and peripherals, as well as cleaning and sterilization chemicals and equipment.
The rapid response funding supported sixteen Canadian companies and their project partners, representing a total combined investment of over $49 million for the rapid production launch and scale of of critical equipment and supplies. Product categories included a vaccines, test kits, biometric monitoring devices, ventilators and air filtration components, antimicrobial coatings, masks and face shields.
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