Province invests in development, testing of Ontario-made PPE at Hamilton’s McMaster University

The province is investing $1.2 million in McMaster University's PPE development and testing facility. Lisa Polewski / Global News

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, McMaster University has been awarded more than $1.2 million in provincial funding to support the research, development and testing of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, says the investment will improve the technology and better protect front-line workers, while ensuring the province is “well prepared for future challenges.”

The investment is through the Ontario Together Fund and supports McMaster’s recently created Centre of Excellence in Protective Equipment and Materials.

Fedeli says investing in the centre will also help industry partners develop their products and get them to market “faster and safer.”

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The centre’s testing facility assesses various filtration materials for breathability, bacterial filtration efficiency and fit testing.

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Ravi Selvaganapathy, director of McMaster University’s centre for excellence, says they’ve partnered with “upwards of 50” manufacturers since launching eight months ago.

He says examples include Hamilton’s Whitebird, a packaging company that is making “tens of thousands of face shields a day,” and Nico Appeal, also of Hamilton, which is making “20-thousand masks per day.”

Fedeli says the goal is for “Ontario-made innovation to lead to Ontario-made products and ultimately, Ontario-made jobs.”

The province is also investing more than $1.1 million in the University of Toronto’s public health testing facility through Tuesday’s announcement.

The U of T’s facility provides filtration efficiency testing of N95, surgical and procedure masks to ensure that they meet Health Canada PPE requirements.


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