Province Supports Ontario-Made Face Masks in the Fight Against COVID-19

Lighter, Breathable Masks Will Allow Prolonged Wear for Frontline Workers

September 4, 2020

BRACEBRIDGE — The Ontario government is providing $2 million from the Ontario Together Fund to the Bracebridge-based company, Smart Safe Science, to make lighter, breathable, and more comfortable face masks. This investment will help the company create 50 local jobs and, when at full capacity, produce 200,000 made-in-Ontario masks monthly and build up regional personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturing capacity to help protect healthcare and frontline workers across the province and ensure they continue their critical work during the outbreak of COVID-19.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

“I always say we have the best and brightest minds anywhere in the world right here in Ontario,” said Premier Ford. “We’re proud to support innovative companies like Smart Safe Science who are making better medical-grade masks for frontline workers. Thanks to their efforts, Ontario will reduce and eventually eliminate our reliance on any other country for these critical health supplies because we can make them right here in wonderful communities like Bracebridge.”

With the Ontario government’s support, Smart Safe Science will make a face mask that is lighter and more breathable to help avoid the common fatigue from wearing other types of masks for a prolonged period of time. The filter used in the mask will be NIOSH 95+ certified, which is used in N95 masks. As part of the development of this mask and other safety products, the company tapped into technical expertise at several Ontario universities, including Lakehead University, Laurentian University, McMaster University and the University of Toronto.

“Face masks have become an essential part of our daily lives during these unprecedented and uncertain times. For our healthcare professionals and frontline workers who are battling COVID-19, prolonged use of face masks can bring fatigue and discomfort,” said Minister Fedeli. “That’s why we are supporting companies like Smart Safe Science so they can provide groundbreaking made-in-Ontario solutions. Through investments like this, we are strengthening our domestic supply chain for vital personal protective equipment and preparing us for any eventuality in the future.”

The mask comes with attachments that monitor body temperature while the person is wearing the mask. This technology will allow the user to connect a smart device in the mask to their phone using an app that will transmit critical real-time data about the user’s health status. The mask will conform to the wearer’s facial structure, providing greater comfort and protection.

Smart Safe Science further plans to purchase equipment and expand its facilities to reach the targeted end-production capacity. The company is a subsidiary of True North Printed Plastics, a company that makes electronic interfaces for items, including airplanes, military and medical equipment.

Quick Fact

  • The government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses retool their operations to produce PPE and develop technology-driven solutions and services for businesses to reopen safely.
  • Businesses and individuals looking to help in the fight against COVID-19 can submit their proposals through the Ontario Together web portal.
  • The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory provides businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers.