Flemish production of face masks secured

Two Flemish companies have received 3.2 million euro in “Strategische Transformatiesteun COVID-19” from Flemish Minister for Economy and Innovation Hilde Crevits in order to structurally secure the production of high-quality face masks in Flanders. Catalisti supported the government in identifying local expertise and evaluating potential production opportunities.

Eurofilters and Medimundi
When the pandemic hit, a shortage of high-quality face masks made Flanders vulnerable to the COVID-19. Now, the Flemish government has awarded two local companies no less than 3.2 million euro in “Strategische Transformatiesteun COVID-19” to set up and structurally secure the local production of high-quality and reliable face masks. These companies are Eurofilters in Pelt, which specializes in high-tech melt-blown filter materials, and Medimundi in Turnhout, a spin-off of, amongst others, UAntwerpen and Cartamundi that recently started producing face masks on an industrial scale. Eurofilters will receive 2.4 million euro in support to build a new melt-blown production line, next to its own investment of 10 million euro. Medimundi receives 8000.000 euro in government funding, on top of a 2.2 million investment by the consortium behind the spin-off.

Learn more about Eurofilters in the video below (in Dutch).

Strategic independence
By producing face masks and the necessary filter materials locally, Flanders becomes less dependent on import from abroad. This also allows for the built-up of a strategic stock, in case another pandemic hits. Moreover, concerns about low-quality face masks are mitigated.

Catalisti’s role
Flanders has unique expertise in the fields of chemical production (polypropylene), plastics processing and high-tech textile manufacturing. As the spearhead cluster for chemistry and plastics, Catalisti has a broad network of partners within these fields. Therefore, on request of the Flemish government, Catalisti supported efforts to identify local expertise and evaluate potential production opportunities.