Developing a ‘Made in Canada’ National Response for Critical Pandemic Products

(Toronto, ON – June 3, 2021) – The COVID-19 pandemic required all countries to rapidly respond to a significant increase in the need for pandemic-related products to help protect health care workers, first responders, frontline workers and members of the public.  The increased use of these products across the globe has strained supply chains and made it difficult to find consistent, reliable sources to meet domestic demand. Canadian manufacturers have responded, and many of them have pivoted their capabilities to manufacture products such as PPE, hand sanitizer and swabs. Despite this response, the sourcing of raw materials, the need for testing, inspection and certification of these products, and the manufacturing facilities in which they are made, remain a challenge.

In response to this, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), and CSA Group collaborated on a project to help inform the establishment of a pandemic product ecosystem for Canada.

Released today, Envisioning a Made-in Canada Pandemic Response Products Ecosystem: Towards Self-Sufficiency and Sustainability, is the first of two reports to be published in 2021. The research project, informed by interviews with more than 30 stakeholders from industry, government, health services and academia, and a review of over 200 documents, identifies gaps and opportunities and includes twelve recommendations across three distinct domains including quality infrastructure, supply chain and sustainability, with the goal of developing a ‘Made in Canada’ solution.

One of the report’s recommendations, under the quality infrastructure domain, highlights how establishing Canadian standards, and testing, inspection and certification protocols would allow for greater certainty of product supply and safety in Canada, without the need to rely on international services to support domestic production and distribution of critical products.

“Canadian manufacturers of pandemic-related products must navigate a complex regulatory process, which could leave the country vulnerable and dependent on foreign supply,” said David Weinstein, President and CEO, CSA Group. “The development and execution of a collaborative ecosystem including Canada’s medical, manufacturing and standards communities, will not only will help ensure expedited and reliable testing of these products, but strengthen Canada’s position as a global leader.”

“During the pandemic, supply constraints and trade restrictions have limited Canada’s access to PPE as well as to other medical products needed to fight COVID-19,” said Jayson Myers, CEO, NGen. “This situation has in turn stimulated the development of new manufacturing capabilities in Canada and placed a greater focus on building strategic autonomy for the supply of critical medical products. This report highlights the importance of building a regulatory, standards, testing, and certification infrastructure that supports both production and procurement opportunities in Canada.”

“This collaborative project will help establish a pandemic product ecosystem for Canada to support innovative Canadian companies in the production and distribution of “Made in Canada” products critical to the pandemic,” said Dave Lisk, Vice-President National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). “While a greater domestic production of pandemic products is needed to improve resiliency, Stakeholders are urged for a greater collaboration between medical, standards, and manufacturing communities to ensure a global coordination.”

At this time, the report is available in English only. A French version of the report will be available by the end of June 2021.

Phase 2 of the project, expected to be published in fall 2021, will address the feasibility of the proposed recommendations included in this report.

Media may contact

CSA Group
Kimberly Gibson
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Robbie MacLeod
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Media Relations
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About CSA Group

CSA Group is a global organization dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability. We are a leader in Standards Development and in Testing, Inspection and Certification around the world including Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia. Our mandate is to hold the future to a higher standard.

About NGen

NGen is the industry-led not-for-profit organization that leads Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster. Its mandate is to help build world-leading advanced manufacturing capabilities in Canada for the benefit of Canadians. NGen works to strengthen collaboration among its membership of more than 3,300 manufacturers, technology companies, innovation centres, and researchers, and provides funding and business support to industry-led initiatives that aim to develop, apply, or scale-up transformative manufacturing solutions in Canada for commercialization in global markets.

About National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program

For over 70 years, the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program has been stimulating economic growth in Canada by providing funding and advisory services to small and medium-sized businesses so they can grow, build their innovation capacity and successfully take their ideas to market. Through its network of over 255 industrial technology advisors located in over 110 locations across Canada, NRC IRAP provides customized solutions to Canadian small and medium-sized businesses through financial assistance, expert advice, and access to national and international networks across all industry sectors


June 3, 2021