Apple Just Poured $10M into the COVID-19 Testing Process

COPAN Diagnostics is getting funds, a new location, better equipment

If we're going to beat COVID-19, we need lots of testing. Apple's COPAN grant could help the company provide millions of sample collection kits by the summer.

COPAN Sample Collection Kit
Apple’s financial and operational support will help COPAN increase supply to more than one million kits per week by early July. Apple 

Three years ago, Apple created a $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund to help promote job creation in the U.S. Now a portion of those funds are being steered toward the fight against COVID-19. This month, the company announced a $10M grant to COPAN Diagnostics.

Testing is a process: Experts say the key to beating COVID-19 is "testing, testing, testing," but you can only test if you have enough kits. Apple's grant will go, according to the company, to help COPAN Diagnostics accelerate production of sample collection kits (the first step in testing for COVID-19) from thousands per week to millions.

How to make it happen: Apple is not only pouring millions into the medical diagnostic firm, it wants to help it move to new facilitates where COPAN will use new equipment designed, in part, by Apple and K2 Kinetics, a production automation firm that appears to rely heavily on robotics. “Apple’s operational expertise will help us increase delivery of important pre-analytical tools for medical professionals across the country at this critical time,” said Norman Sharples, CEO of COPAN Diagnostics in a release.

What Apple's saying: "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," said Apple COO Jeff Williams in a release.

Yes, Apple is involved: The grant announcement comes after Apple announced that it had designed and built face shields for front-line healthcare workers and as it works with Google to deliver COVID-19 contact tracing technology for smartphones.

Bottom line: Even as parts of the U.S. and the rest of the world reopen, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. Apple and COPAN's efforts, which will take weeks to come to fruition, should have an important role to play in the ongoing fight against the virus.

Learn More About Apple