Ontario gives $2M to accelerate production of airborne COVID-19 detector

Feb 4 2021, 8:29 pm

The Ontario government is providing $2 million to help commercialize and accelerate the production of an airborne COVID-19 detector.

On Thursday, the provincial government announced the investment which will be given to CEM Specialties Inc. (CEMSI) through the Ontario Together Fund to help with the Kontrol BioCloud (BioCloud).

This technology monitors, in real time, the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the air in places where people gather, such as schools, offices, long-term care homes, hospitals, public transit, and manufacturing facilities.

The company anticipates accelerating the production of the BioCloud will create up to 250 direct jobs and up to 750 indirect jobs.

“From day one, Ontario unleashed its innovation and manufacturing might in the fight against COVID-19, with businesses rolling out new innovations and products to help keep the frontlines and the general public safe,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade in a statement.

“It’s the creativity and ingenuity of enterprising companies like CEMSI, with its innovative COVID-19 detection technology, that will help Ontario and the rest of the world successfully emerge from this pandemic while creating hundreds of good jobs for our province’s skilled workers.”

The technology promotes air circulation, monitors air quality and samples continuously for pathogens like viruses, bacteria and fungi. When the presence of the virus is detected, BioCloud provides an alert in the cloud or over a local intranet. CEMSI has received all approvals required to commercialize and produce the technology.

“Our CEMSI team has been focused on developing a solution to create safer spaces through the real-time monitoring of SARS-CoV-2. BioCloud seeks to provide an early detection mechanism with a silent alerting system. Just as smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are now part of building safety, we have created BioCloud as an innovative viral detection technology to help get the economy and daily life back closer to normal,”said Paul Ghezzi, CEO of Kontrol Technologies Corp.

“BioCloud is a complement and support to the province’s vaccination rollout, rapid testing and contact tracing and can be located in schools, offices, places of worship, long-term care homes, hospitals and much more. We are proud to be a made-in Ontario technology, and we are very pleased to be hiring and creating new jobs.”

With Ontario’s financial support, CEMSI will increase production capacity to 20,000 units per month. The product will be manufactured in London, with more than 85% of its components produced in the province.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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