October 1, 2020 \\ Volume 2
Stay Safe
Colorado Manufacturers Innovate and Adapt Through COVID and Beyond
by Allison Seabeck, Executive Director, The Warehouse Business Accelerator
Since March, a volunteer collaborative called the Colorado Manufacturer’s COVID Taskforce has been creating unique partnerships and finding innovative ways to support our Colorado community and our Colorado manufacturers through the COVID-19 crisis.

The CO Manufacturer’s COVID Taskforce supports manufacturers with programs to identify pivot opportunities and resources to help businesses stay safe and viable.

New Product Opportunities

In partnership with Lockheed Martin Company and the Warehouse Business Accelerator, the Taskforce is looking to identify Colorado manufacturers interested in producing or commercializing COVID response products. Production Partners of the CO Manufacturers COVID Taskforce are manufacturers approved and available to take on production contracts for PPE and COVID response products that the community needs. Production Partners have access to learn about needs in the community, market opportunities and new potential products that could be produced commercially for COVID response and beyond.

Lockheed Martin’s engineers designed new personal protective equipment (PPE) and other products in response to COVID, including:
  • Gowns and protective clothing
  • Reusable Face Shields
  • Respirator Masks
  • PAPR – Pressurized Air Purifying Respirator
  • IR Temperature Entry System
  • Mask Decontamination Systems (UV and/or Heat)
  • Containment Structures

If you are a Colorado manufacturer with interest in learning more about the Production Partner program or the possibility of producing and commercializing any of these specific products, the Taskforce wants to hear from you. Respond to this Request for Expression of Interest Survey by October 16, 2020.

Manufacturing Pivot Resources

Economic conditions change, markets fluctuate, customer demand shifts. Manufacturers who intentionally prepare to innovate and adapt are the manufacturers who will succeed. Whether COVID has directly impacted the viability of your business or other pressures have been weakening your market long before the current pandemic, now is the time to evaluate whether, when, and how to make a pivot. 

These resources available through partners of the CO Manufacturer’s COVID Taskforce are designed to help your company identify and implement a plan to pivot your operations:

Pivot Assessment Training and Coaching (PATCH) is a 6-step program focused uniquely on your business and what you need to pivot successfully. Expert PATCH coaches from H2 Manufacturing Solutions will help you assess your capabilities, identify what market opportunities are strongest for you, develop an action plan, train your organization on new workflows and procedures, and implement a system to stay agile for future changes.

Pivot Grants

Limited, competitive grant dollars are available to offset the cost to pivot operations effectively and get to scale quickly on production of new products. Grant funds may be used for initial raw materials, supplies, certain equipment, and PATCH consulting. Pivot Grants are funded through the Warehouse Business Accelerator’s designated giving fund. Email inquire@warehouseinnovation.com for more information.

Keeping your facility safe

With the COVID Safety System, a team of experts will help you sort through the complexity of CDC, State, and Local government safety guidelines to ensure that you know what is required to make your facility safe in the time of COVID. Whether you are focused on preventing a quarantine shut-down, keeping people healthy, or reducing your company’s legal liability, a third-party assessment of your safety practices and an optional non-accredited certification can serve to validate that you are taking every step possible to keep your people and your community safe.

For more information about the Taskforce:

Stay Informed
COVID-19 Assistance: Free Legal Advice & Help for Colorado Small Businesses
Small businesses provide half of Colorado’s jobs. They have been especially hard-hit by the COVID-19 economic crisis, with minority and woman-owned small businesses being hit the hardest. Volunteer attorneys have offered to provide legal help to Colorado’s small businesses so they can get back on their feet.

This website was created to match small businesses that need limited free legal advice regarding COVID-19 related issues with volunteer lawyers. If you are a small business that needs legal help, you can submit an application and we will ask our volunteer lawyers if they are willing to assist you. If you are a lawyer who wants to help, please sign up to volunteer.

The site also includes other resources available to small businesses, particularly minority and woman-owned small businesses, to meet the challenges of the pandemic. If you identify resources you think we should add to the website, please let us know.

If you are a nonprofit in search of legal assistance, click here. If you are an individual looking for help, sign up for the Colorado Lawyers Committee’s Legal Night, co-sponsored with Centro San Juan Diego.

Stay Connected
Stop the Spread
NIST-MEP is proud to partner with and support the efforts of Stop the Spread (STS). STS is comprised of more than 1,400 CEOs, volunteers, donors, and subject matter experts who are working diligently to address the the critical needs of the COVID-19 pandemic in three key ways:

Research – We follow the evolution of the pandemic closely and are uniquely positioned to understand how the private sector can best support our nation’s response and what needs philanthropy can uniquely fill.

Partnerships – We are plugged into the COVID-19 response ecosystem and are broadening our network daily so that we are well positioned to actively assist innovators in increasing their reach and impact.

Investments – We are able to provide grant or equity capital to nonprofit and for-profit organizations with novel solutions providers that uniquely address the needs of under-served communities.

Don't forget that tomorrow is Manufacturing Day 2020! Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn throughout the month of October as we celebrate our amazing Colorado manufacturing community!