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The Canadian Shield celebrates its one-year anniversary

March 22, 2021   Maryam Farag

Photo: The Canadian Shield.

Waterloo-based The Canadian Shield celebrates its one-year anniversary, founded following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company is an award-winning manufacturer, specializing in the design and production of personal protective equipment (PPE) products. It originated from education technology company, InkSmith.

On March 20, 2020, a local doctor let the InkSmith team know that Waterloo Region was short 10,000 face shields for frontline healthcare workers. Next month, the number grew to nearly one million face shields for Ontario and 11 million for Canada. In order to scale production, the team at InkSmith grew, from under 10 people to nearly 330, while simultaneously opening a 50,000-square-feet manufacturing facility in Waterloo.

In June, the team began manufacturing ASTM medical masks to help fill another critical gap in Canada’s supply chain. By September, The Canadian Shield had manufactured 16 million face shields and donated nearly one million to frontline workers across the country.

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“This past year has been an incredible journey and I couldn’t be more proud of our team and what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a whirlwind period of time,” said Jeremy Hedges, Founder and CEO, The Canadian Shield. “Waterloo Region is a special place and this community helped make our story possible.”

Recently, the company announced their development of made-in-Canada medical mask manufacturing automation lines, and machine vision systems equipped with artificial intelligence technology.

“With the right reform, there’s a path here to not just open up the market for PPE producers, but to create a cornerstone medical device manufacturing industry that builds our economy and insulates one of our most critical supply chains.” said Hedges.