Apple has announced thatit’s awarding US$10 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to COPAN Diagnostics, which specializes in sample collection kits that play a critical role in COVID-19 testing.
This funding will allow COPAN Diagnostics to rapidly accelerate their supply of sample collection kits for hospitals across the U.S. expanding production from several thousand today to more than one million kits per week by early July. As part of this effort, Apple will support COPAN Diagnostics’ expansion to a new, larger facility in Southern California, with advanced equipment that Apple is helping design. This expansion is expected to create more than 50 new jobs.
“We feel a deep sense of responsibility to do everything we can to help medical workers, patients, and communities support the global response to COVID-19,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, in a press release. “COPAN is one of the world’s most innovative manufacturers of sample collection kits for COVID-19 testing, and we’re thrilled to partner with them so they can expand as we work to address this critical issue for our nation. I couldn’t be prouder of our teams for bringing all of their energy, passion, and innovative spirit to supporting the country’s COVID-19 response.”
“We’re excited to forge this new relationship with Apple, whose teams are already making a huge difference with our efforts to scale up the production of our sample collection and transport kits,” added Norman Sharples, CEO of COPAN Diagnostics. “Collection and transport kits are a critical component in the fight against COVID-19. At COPAN, we’re excited and grateful for this partnership with Apple as our strong beliefs of innovation, quality, and excellence in manufacturing and design are perfectly aligned. Apple’s operational expertise will help us increase delivery of important pre-analytical tools for medical professionals across the country at this critical time.”
Apple is sourcing equipment and materials for COPAN Diagnostics from companies across the U.S., including equipment Apple is helping design from K2 Kinetics, based in York, Pennsylvania, and MWES in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
COPAN is a global player in the field of specimen collection and preservation for infectious disease diagnostics. The company’s sample collection kits play a critical role in the COVID-19 testing process.
The company’s quantitative approach to pre-analytics led them to invent flocked swabs in 2003, a device comprising of a molded plastic applicator stick that has variable tips coated with nylon fibers allowing for quick uptake and complete elution of the sample. COPAN’s UTM is the leading transport medium for collection, transport, preservation, and long-term freeze storage of clinical specimens containing viruses.
Apple has donated tens of millions of dollars toward the global COVID-19 response, including Global Citizen and America’s Food Fund. In addition, Apple designed, tested, and distributed almost 10 million face shields and sourced over 30 million face masks for healthcare professionals in hard-hit areas. Apple also developed a COVID-19 symptom-checking website and app in partnership with the CDC, and announced a collaboration with Google to develop COVID-19 contact tracing technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security central to the design.
Apple also notes that it’s on track to reach its commitment of contributing $350 billion to the U.S. economy over a five year period. The company supports 2.4 million jobs across the U.S., including 90,000 direct employees in all 50 states.
Apple has already invested more than $1 billion of its $5 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund in American companies fostering innovation and growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector.
That includes $450 million distributed to Corning Incorporated in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, to support its research and development into state-of-the-art glass processes, equipment, and materials integral to the delivery of next-generation consumer devices; $390 million to Finisar in Sherman, Texas, to increase its R&D spending and high-volume production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers; and $10 million allocated to the Elysis aluminum partnership to bring revolutionary advancements in green aluminum manufacturing to the commercial market.