Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

Apple gives $10 million grant to COVID-19 testing firm COPAN Diagnostics

Apple says the grant will give the company the capacity to increase the production of testing kits across the US.

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Apple has awarded COPAN Diagnostics a $10 million grant in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. 

Announced on Thursday, the iPad and iPhone maker said that COPAN's efforts are playing a "crucial role" in COVID-19 testing across the United States, which at the time of writing, has the highest number of confirmed cases, as well as fatalities. 

COPAN specializes in infectious disease diagnostics, including the development of specimen collection kits. As the pandemic continues to gain momentum in the US, these kits have been turned toward COVID-19 testing efforts.

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The company is currently producing several thousand kits per week. With Apple's $10 million grant and a move to a larger production facility in California, it is hoped that COPAN can ramp up production to up to one million kits every week. 

The iPad and iPhone maker added that production will be boosted further in the new facility with "advanced equipment that Apple is helping design." Apple is also sourcing equipment and material on COPAN's behalf. 

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The $10 million grant has come from Apple's Advanced Manufacturing Fund, previously used for investments in glass production, lasers, and aluminum manufacturing. 

"We feel a deep sense of responsibility to do everything we can to help medical workers, patients, and communities support the global response to COVID-19," said Jeff Williams, Apple's COO. "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."

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Apple has donated millions of dollars to coronavirus relief efforts and has distributed close to 10 million face shields to healthcare providers. The company is also working with Google to develop decentralized contact-tracing technology for mobile applications.