The Mass. Manufacturing Community
Responds to COVID-19
MassTech Leads the Work of the Manufacturing Emergency Response Team
In March 2020, the leaders of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, including Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy and Mike Tamasi, President and CEO of AccuRounds, established the Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (MERT) to assist in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MERT’s Mission: To support Massachusetts manufacturers in pivoting their operations to produce needed materials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MERT was a collaboration that included representatives from the Commonwealth's leading manufacturing sector, academia, R&D centers, and the public sector. Organizations involved included the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, MIT, MIT Lincoln Labs, Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), Beth Israel Lahey, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), and many other partner organizations from across the state. Without the partners from these organizations, many of whom dedicated countless hours and late nights, the emergency manufacturing response would not have been possible.
The MERT supported Mass. manufacturers that wanted to pivot operations to produce priority items in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, items such as:
- N95 Masks
- Surgical Masks and General Purpose Face Coverings
- Face Shields
- Gowns (Disposable and Reusable) and Coveralls
- COVID Test Kits
- Sanitizer and Disinfectant
The MERT experts provided ongoing consultation to pivoting companies, providing:
- Insight into what types of items were most in need by frontline healthcare workers and COVID-19 test centers;
- Checklists and templates for understanding the readiness of products for market;
- Regulatory assistance, including reviews of product instructions for use, labeling, and packaging prior to submission;
- Coordination around supply chain needs; and
- Referrals to testing resources for products requiring testing for compliance purposes.
Impact (as of April 2021)
The charts below detail the amount of PPE products and other critical items produced by Massachusetts Manufacturers that pivoted with the support of MERT, plus outlines the $16.1M in state grants awarded to boost Mass. manufacturing and to boost PPE testing capability in the state.