R&D Nonprofit Establishes Medical Manufacturing Alliance

Organizers said the collaborative research has already produced “a number of innovations.”

AP Photo/Eric Gay
AP Photo/Eric Gay
Workers and volunteers help load cars at a food bank in San Antonio, April 7, 2020.

A collection of Texas research and economic development groups this week established a new alliance to help local manufacturers meet the need for medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Southwest Research Institute said in an announcement that members of the Medical Manufacturing Alliance of South-Central Texas are helping companies identify needed medical products, find source materials and retool their operations to produce them.

“There is a great deal of ingenuity and capability to meet demand for medical equipment and build in some support for a local supply chain across several manufacturing sectors,” Walter Downing, the executive vice president and COO of the San Antonio R&D nonprofit, said in a statement.

SwRI officials added that the group joined with local and national universities and research institutes to share research and testing capabilities with nearby manufacturers.

The effort also includes the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center South-Central Region, the San Antonio Manufacturers Association, Fusion Success Group and the Bexar County Department of Economic and Community Development. Bexar County county is using the alliance to help supply products to its healthcare facilities, and officials suggested the initiative would be a boon to the region long after the current crisis abates.

“We have already seen a number of innovations through our collaborative research efforts,” Downing said.

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