Ontario Together – Official Announcement

News Release September 4, 2020

Made in Ontario 3S Face Masks receive Ontario Government support.

BRACEBRIDGE — With Ontario’s support, Smart Safe Science (3S) is producing the new SmartMask™. This lightweight facemask out performs traditional masks. 

Designed and manufactured in Bracebridge Muskoka, the 3S SmartMask™ features a transparent shell with proprietary filtration technology. The mask uses disposable, replaceable filters to provide maximum airflow and minimum waste for landfills. 

3S President Andrew Struthers led the SmartMask™ design team. “The market demands a safer product,” says Struthers. “The need for face masks and other PPE is not going away anytime soon. Facemasks in public spaces have become the new norm and disposable masks are just not good enough. Disposable masks don’t seal properly on the face and when worn for long periods of time become very uncomfortable and even abrasive. While homemade cloth masks are better than nothing, they offer no actual filtration.” 

The Ontario Together fund recognized Smart Safe Sciences safer, lighter, breathable SmartMask™ with a 2 million dollar grant. This investment will help the company create 50+ local jobs and expand their full production capacity to produce 200,000 made-in-Ontario masks monthly. 3S will build up regional personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturing capacity and help protect users in Ontario. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford
Premier Doug Ford and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade announce their support of 3S.

Details were provided Friday by Premier Doug Ford and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

“I always say we have the best and brightest minds anywhere in the world right here in Ontario,” said Premier Ford. “We’re proud to support innovative companies like Smart Safe Science who are making better masks for frontline workers. Thanks to their efforts, Ontario will reduce and eventually eliminate our reliance on any other country for these critical health supplies because we can make them right here in wonderful communities like Bracebridge.”

As part of the development of this mask and other safety products, 3S tapped into technical expertise at several Ontario universities, including Lakehead University, Laurentian University, McMaster University and the University of Toronto.

Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development
Premier Doug Ford and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade announce support of 3S.

“Face masks have become an essential part of our daily lives. For our healthcare professionals and frontline workers who are battling COVID-19, prolonged use of face masks can bring fatigue and discomfort,” said Minister Fedeli. “That’s why we are supporting companies like Smart Safe Science so they can provide groundbreaking made-in-Ontario solutions. Through investments like this, we are strengthening our domestic supply chain for vital personal protective equipment and preparing us for any eventuality in the future.”

3S President Andrew Struthers address Premier Ford

Smart Safe Science plans to purchase additional equipment and expand its facilities in Bracebridge. We look forward to hiring Ontario candidates for the new facility.

A Thank You to the Staff of The Pines Long Term Care Home

The staff of The Pines long-term care home in Bracebridge Ontario received a thank you for their hard work when Andrew and Rick Struthers of Smart Safe Science (3S) hand built and delivered close to 100 care packages on Sunday May the 10th.

Each package contained several expressions of thanks from the community, from Camp Muskoka, and from Smart Safe Science. Each staff member received a ten dollar coffee card thanks to the generosity of the community and a successful GoFundMe campaign. Camp Muskoka Coffeehouse donated vouchers for a free ice cream to be enjoyed on a sunny summer day and a WOW bracelet recognizing people who create wow moments for others. The Smart Safe Science team provided each staff member with a face shield custom printed with one of several scenes of spring in Muskoka. The face shields will deliver serious protection, while providing a little touch of beauty for the staff and residents.

Thank you to everyone who contributed. Thank you to the team at The Pines for your hard work and dedication to the health and safety of those in your care, and thank you to the staff of long term care homes everywhere who continue to provide for our elders on some of the hardest hit front lines in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Environmental Commitment

3S is committed to environmental responsibility as SmartMasks are used and as they are produced. Reusability and waste reduction are the first of our environmental pillars; Reusable masks and replaceable filters reduce a large amount of that waste, allowing the mask to be sanitized and only the filters to be disposed of: less raw materials needed, less waste to landfill. And at the end of the mask’s life, the shells are fully recyclable. Part of Smart Safe Science’s decision to base production in Bracebridge, Ontario is access to clean power from locally sourced hydro-electric. Throughout the production process Smart Safe Science is committed to protecting the earth, air, and water of this beautiful community we call home.

Product Development

Turquoise Face Mask

Faceshields were a great start, but as we move to reopen the economy, facemasks will be a necessary part of life. That’s where Smart Safe Science Inc. was born. From the start of the pandemic access to N95 masks has been difficult for everyone, with shortages for health-care workers, and very little supply for the rest of society. Smart Safe Science’s first product looks to tackle that challenge with a SmartMask that is reusable, has replaceable filters, is comfortable to wear for long periods, and offers smart features that provide health and usage data to the wearer.

Investing in Production

While designers and engineers have been working with their research partners at universities across the province to fine-tune the initial design, the production team has been working to quickly bring production capacity online. It’s been no small feat. Robotics, high-end machinery, and a skilled workforce are necessary to make the concept a reality. 3S’ dedicated team of Bracebridge, Ontario based assembly workers are transferring their skills building custom industrial components to producing the SmartMasks. They will soon be aided by a team of six-access robots newly purchased and programmed. 

The final piece of the puzzle, the biggest and most advanced piece of machinery, a Niebling forming machine allows high capacity forming of the plastic components with the electronic circuitry fully integrated. This million-dollar investment will be housed in a new state of the art facility.

There is still work to be done. The first prototypes will soon come off the line and will be tested by CSA, UL, and Health Canada. Soon Smart Safe Science will have Canadian designed and manufactured SmartMasks in use by organizations large and small across Ontario and Canada.