Realizing a “Made-in Canada” National Response for Critical Pandemic Products

Second phase of research assesses the feasibility and urgency of recommendations and explores action items

(Toronto, ON – December 1, 2021) – When the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020, Canada faced significant challenges in ensuring adequate supplies of products needed to respond to this global emergency. Although the peak demand seen for pandemic response products may have passed, it is critical to maintain an understanding of what gaps exist and what action items are required to move Canada towards a self-sufficient and sustainable pandemic response products ecosystem to protect against future shortages in times of need.

Realizing A Made in Canada Pandemic Response Products Ecosystem: Action and Impact (Realizing A Made-in Canada Pandemic Response Products Ecosystem (csagroup.org)) is the second of two reports released by CSA group, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), and the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) that help to inform the establishment of a pandemic product ecosystem in Canada. The objective of the second report is to understand the feasibility of the twelve recommendations made in the first report, while exploring in greater detail what specific action items are needed. These recommendations and action items addressed issues within three key domains: quality infrastructure, supply chain and sustainability.

To help inform prioritization for the twelve recommendations and the many action items that follow, experts were polled to rank the recommendations by urgency and importance. The top three priorities by urgency and importance included supporting Canadian manufacturers, designing products that are compostable/recyclable/biodegradable, and improving mask design, standards and guidance.

Some of the notable action items included in the report that align with the priority recommendations include: support of Canadian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in designing and manufacturing environmentally friendly products; explore adoption of Buy Canadian public procurement policies; adoption of standards for consumer masks; and the pursuit of communication and education efforts to ensure the more widespread use and acceptance of new mask types.

“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many gaps in Canada’s pandemic products ecosystem, but it has also offered us a unique opportunity to learn, prepare and craft a sustainable and self-sufficient ecosystem for the future,” said David Weinstein, President and CEO, CSA Group. “It’s critical that we stay the course and continue to work together to build our domestic production capacity by supporting Canada’s manufacturers while also considering other important factors like environmental sustainability.”

“NGen is pleased to support this collaborative effort to build a more resilient domestic supply of pandemic response products,” said Jayson Myers, CEO, NGen. “As we continue to unpack the lessons learned from the past year, it is more important than ever to take a multi-disciplinary approach that emphasizes quality infrastructure, standards and sustainability to protect the health and safety of Canadians by ensuring we have the infrastructure required to support PPE manufacturing in Canada.”

“Because of this project and the significant collaboration across communities to ensure global coordination, Canada now has a better understanding of the requirements needed to support production and distribution of ‘Made in Canada’ products critical to the current pandemic, said David Lisk, Vice President, Industrial Research Assistance Program, National Research Council of Canada. “The findings will also address response and preparedness plans in the future.”

This research was conducted by the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health with input from industry experts and stakeholders throughout Canada.

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CSA Group
Kimberly Gibson
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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 4,000 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 the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program

For over 70 years, the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) 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 265 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.




December 1, 2021