BOSTON (WHDH) - The Baker-Polito Administration announced Thursday that they have awarded more than $6.5 million in grants to 13 Massachusetts organizations to aid them in developing new products amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The new grants from the Massachusetts Manufacturing Emergency Response Team will help drive in-state manufacturing of critical products, including masks, hand sanitizer, and gowns.

So far, MERT has awarded more than $16 million to organizations and has led to the production of more than 11 million pieces of personal protective equipment and other critical pieces as of September.

“The MERT program continues to identify and support successful ‘Made in Massachusetts’ manufacturers that produce Personal Protective Equipment for our front-line responders, business owners, and residents,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “This program and the sheer output from these manufacturers has been central to the Commonwealth’s fight against COVID-19.”

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito added, “Our administration is pleased to support these capital and workforce training requests to ensure Massachusetts’ manufacturing sector will continue to produce in the face of these tough economic times. As we emerge from this public health crisis, our hope is that these new product lines spur job creation and drive growth for these companies, while also establishing new supply chains for our in-state purchasers of PPE.”

The 13 grant recipients and what they plan to use their funds on can be found below.

Grantee

Location

Amount

Description

 Masks

The Fallon Company LLC, in partnership w/ Shawmut Manufacturing

Norwood

$2,772,688, with $44,000 for workforce training

Will use the funds to buy equipment for a locally-owned, vertically-integrated N95 mask plant in Massachusetts.

New Balance Athletics

Boston

$80,000 for workforce training

New Balance has pivoted from manufacturing athletic footwear to the production of masks, including at their factory in Lawrence. Their grant will fund workforce training to produce surgical masks.

Gowns

CareAline Products

Danvers; Fall River

$101,250, with $80,000 for workforce training

Headquartered in Danvers and with manufacturing in Fall River, CareAline is experienced in innovating and manufacturing medical safety garments that are purchased by hospitals for vascular access safety. Their contracted manufacturing facility will produce reusable Level 1 isolation gowns.

Precision Sportswear

Fall River

$32,755

Precision’s employees produce medical items for manufacturers including CareAline Products, AliMed, DM Medical Sommerfly, US Bedding, and American Players.

99 Degrees Custom

Lawrence

$80,000 for workforce training

A leading U.S. manufacturer of performance activewear apparel, 99 Degrees is pivoting to make PPE. The recipient of a previous MERT capital grant, the new funding will support workforce training.

Ventilators

Transcom Scopes Inc dba Instrument Technology Inc.

Westfield

$41,282.66

Transcom has over 50 years of experience making complex machined parts and has spent the last 20 years making small pieces for medical device OEM clients. The funding will help the company purchase additional tooling and fixtures to produce ventilator manifolds.
Testing of Products

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept

of Chemical Engineering

Cambridge

$142,224

The Rutledge Lab at MIT has been providing filtration efficiency testing services through the MERT since the beginning of the pandemic. A selected subset of their results has been posted online by the Mass. Department of Public Health since mid-April, and have been endorsed by the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL), the testing lab of NIOSH.

Materials & Supply Chain

Avila Textiles, Inc.

Dighton

$85,775.25, with $14,000 for workforce training

Since 1995, Avila has produced quality narrow woven fabrics. Their equipment and trained personnel enable Avila to produce over 3,000 different webbing constructions, meeting specifications of the U.S. government and foreign customers.

Industrial Polymers and Chemicals, Inc.

Shrewsbury

$150,000, with $8,000 for workforce training

IPAC has been in business for over 60 years, supplying fiberglass reinforcement to the abrasives industry, body armor components for first responders, DIY repair kits, and now PPE to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is for a CNC cutting machine to produce isolation gowns, adding a second CNC machine to the facility.

COVID-19 Testing

International Light Technologies

Peabody

$16,138

ILT is producing a real time test intended for the presumptive qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the 2019-nCoC in upper and lower respiratory symptoms. Funding will help ILT support the construction of an additional manufacturing work station.

Web Industries, Inc.

Marlborough

$2,563,102.55 with $80,000 workforce training

Web Industries currently manufactures medical devices and provides expertise in Lateral Flow Immunoassay as well as Rapid Diagnostic Test manufacturing. The funds will support the equipment, facility, and human resource requirements required to produce COVID-19 tests.

Hand Sanitizer

Gloucester Bio (Tekkware Inc.)

Gloucester

$209,840, with $16,000 for workforce training

An FDA registered facility, Gloucester Bio manufactures and supplies yeast to ethanol distilleries. With their familiarity in handling and manufacturing ethanol, they are pivoting to the production of hand sanitizer.

Heritage Hemp, LLC

Northampton

$63,352.17

Heritage Hemp manufactures consumer products that utilize ethanol, which has made an easy transition to hand sanitizer. The award will support the integration of advanced robotics to expand manufacturing capacity.

High Purity Natural Products LLC

Southbridge

$52,500.00

High Purity Natural Products is FDA registered to manufacture and fill hand sanitizer in a variety of container sizes in bulk. This grant will support filling equipment.

 

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