Apple has announced it is awarding $10 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to COPAN Diagnostics, a market leader in sample collection kits that play a critical role in COVID-19 testing across the United States.
The funding aims to allow COPAN to rapidly accelerate the 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.
Apple says it will also support COPAN’s expansion to a new, larger facility in Southern California that will be built out with advanced equipment that Apple is helping to design.
“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. “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,” said 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 the project from companies across the U.S., including including equipment Apple is helping design from K2 Kinetics, based in York, Pennsylvania, and MWES in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Apple has donated several million dollars toward the global COVID-19 response, including Global Citizen and America’s Food Fund. It has also designed and distributed almost 10 million face shields, sourced over 30 million face masks for healthcare professionals, and developed a COVID-19 exposure notification API for use by public health authorities around the world.
CEO Tim Cook announced Apple’s $1 billion Fund for Advanced Manufacturing Jobs in May 2017. The other major benefactor since then has been Corning, the makers of Gorilla Glass).