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Grants Fund COVID-19 Efforts

FuzeHub's COVID-19 Manufacturing Grants program was created to help New York State-based, small- to medium-sized manufacturing companies quickly accelerate production of personal protective equipment and respiratory care equipment.

FuzeHub, the statewide center for the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP), announced the winners of its COVID-19 Manufacturing Grants initiative, a competitive grant program to accelerate production of ventilators and N95 respirators in New York State.

FuzeHub awarded a total of $300,000 in grant funding to four New York manufacturers:


  • Precision Valve & Automation (PVA), Cohoes, N.Y., $100,000 to support its production of its PVA PREVENT™ emergency ventilator

  • Spiro Devices, Brooklyn, N.Y., $100,000 to accelerate production of its Spiro Wave ventilation device

  • Environmental Composites, Utica, N.Y., $50,000 for N95 mask manufacturing

  • General Composites, Willsboro, N.Y., $50,000 for N95 mask manufacturing


“When New York State called for help, our manufacturing industry answered. Local manufacturers have been innovative, resourceful and courageous in addressing critical needs to combat the coronavirus,” said FuzeHub Executive Director Elena Garuc. “The winners of FuzeHub’s COVID-19 Manufacturing Grants pivoted quickly and focused intensely on trying to solve some of the biggest problems our world has ever faced. Despite the magnitude of the challenge, these New York manufacturers stood tall and found a way to produce essential supplies that will help stop the spread of the virus and save lives. We’re grateful for their determination in this fight.”


FuzeHub launched its COVID-19 Manufacturing Grants program to help New York State-based, small to medium-sized manufacturing companies quickly accelerate production of personal protective equipment and respiratory care equipment.


The program focused on two tracks. The first, Prevent the Spread, awarded $50,000 grants to increase manufacturing capacity of N95 respirators, and the second track, Save Lives, provided $100,000 grants to increase the state’s manufacturing capacity of ventilators.

The Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR), a Cornell University research center dedicated to the development of advanced materials, will supplement FuzeHub’s COVID-19 Manufacturing Grants with an additional $10,000 – $2,500 per project – to provide the winning manufacturers with more resources to select, acquire and modify materials and equipment necessary for their projects.


Precision Valve & Automation, Inc.

The PVA PREVENT™ is an FDA-authorized emergency ventilator designed to treat patients suffering from COVID-19 respiratory failure. This motorized device automatically compresses an Ambu® bag to provide air to the lungs of a COVID-19 patient, eliminating the human error and fatigue that results from manual resuscitation. The PREVENT is a flexible, portable option to be used in critical care and emergency situations in hospital and institutional environments. It is designed for use when a conventional ventilator is not available or necessary. 


Spiro Devices LLC (Story previously covered on IndustryWeek here.)

A team of New York City clinicians, engineers, and supply chain experts from Newlab, 10xBeta, Boyce Technologies and Otherlab formed the Emergency Ventilator Response Initiative. This consortium worked closely with business and government partners to then launch Spiro Devices LLC (Spiro), which is now producing Spiro Wave, a low-cost automatic resuscitator that helps hospitals expand their capacity to care for patients with critical ventilation needs. The device was designed to bypass some of the time, cost and supply chain hurdles facing ventilator production efforts. It has received FDA Emergency Use Authorization. Spiro is committed to helping producers around the world manufacture and distribute Spiro Wave, royalty-free as a managed open-source initiative. 


Environmental Composites, Inc.

One of the most critical supply chain issues related to the N95 mask shortage is access to meltblown fabric. Meltblown nonwovens are currently used to achieve the sub-micron particle filtration efficiency requirements. However, other textile manufacturing methods can incorporate similar design principles, including electrostatic charge. Environmental Composites’ innovative design will use a needle punch nonwoven with a ‘tuned’ electrostatic charge. Its operation boasts a capacity of 12 million masks per month and can produce a complete mask. 


General Composites, Inc.

General Composites, a contract composite manufacturer, has initiated the process of converting existing carbon fiber and composite thermoforming processing equipment to manufacture N95 respirators. Further, General Composites is establishing testing equipment to ensure quality control of production, producing prototypes to validate the production process and completing regulatory testing and submissions to achieve approval for the much-needed N95 respirators. 


As the statewide NY MEP center, FuzeHub is a nonprofit organization that works with small and mid-sized manufacturing companies to solve challenges, increase competitiveness and create jobs. Across the state, there are 10 regional NY MEP centers that support the growth of manufacturers in their communities. The NY MEP is a state and federally funded program that is overseen by Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR).


THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY INDUSTRY WEEK ON APRIL 27, 2020.