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COVID-19 Updates News Innovation
Performance BioFilaments receives NRC funding to develop filtration material for N95s


May 28, 2020
By P&PC Staff

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Performance BioFilaments is researching a cellulose-based filtration material for potential use in N95 respirators and surgical masks.

The company, owned by Mercer International and Resolute Forest Products, is among three recipients in a first round of funding from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to research and develop alternative methods of filtration material for use in face respirators and masks for front-line health-care workers.

The NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) and Innovative Solutions Canada are investing over $200,000 for the three solutions, which must be able to be sourced and made in Canada.

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Performance BioFilaments is receiving $102,524 to develop a filtration material for respirators that are either recyclable or compostable.

Stedfast Inc. is receiving $32,570 to develop washable masks with barrier properties, and a prototype N95 respirator, surgical mask and community mask.

Roswell Downhole Technologies is receiving $70,253 for rapid reconfiguration of plastic extrusion equipment to manufacture N95 filter material.

This funding will help these companies further their research and development to prove the feasibility of their ideas.

The projects will then be evaluated for phase-two funding to develop a working prototype, with the goal of scaling up the production of filtration materials for respirators and masks by late summer.

The NRC IRAP program seeks near-to-market solutions from small and medium-sized businesses (i.e., fewer than 500 staff) that require financial support to refine and sell their product or solution to meet a COVID-19–related need.