Apple’s helping hand aids swab-maker in shipping 15 million COVID-19 test kits

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Apple didn't just offer money to produce COVID-19 test kits. It lent Copan Diagnostics engineers and product designers, too.
Apple didn't just offer money to produce COVID-19 test kits. It lent engineers and product designers, too.
Photo: Apple

Apple assisted nasal swab-maker Copan Diagnostics in shipping 15 million COVID-19 test kits to hospitals in California, Texas and elsewhere, the company said Monday.

Apple awarded $10 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to support Copan in May 2020. Cupertino also sent engineers and product designers to help Copan overhaul its manufacturing processes. Thanks to the Apple boost, production supposedly increased by nearly 4,000%. Copan also opened a new facility and hired 250 employees.

“We are proud our Advanced Manufacturing Fund is supporting companies like COPAN who are playing a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 and assisting healthcare professionals and communities across the country,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, in a statement. “This collaboration helped produce, ship, and deliver millions of sample collection kits to hospitals from coast to coast — and we believe it is this unique combination of American manufacturing and innovation that will help us emerge from this crisis and build a safer world for us all.”

Apple announced its Advanced Manufacturing Fund in May 2017. The goal of the fund, in Apple’s words, is to “foster and support the innovative production and high-skill jobs” in the tech and manufacturing sector in the United States. To date, Apple has invested more than $1.3 billion from the fund to support U.S. jobs. According to Apple, this includes supporting “more than 450,000 supplier jobs across all 50 states.”

Source: Apple and Reuters