Facedrive Inc. ("Facedrive") (TSXV:FD) (OTCQX:FDVRF), a Canadian "people-and-planet first" technology ecosystem, is pleased to announce that the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (the "Ministry") has endorsed and agreed to provide CAD $2,500,000 in non-dilutive funding to TraceSCAN, the COVID-19 wearable contact-tracing solution developed by Facedrive Health. While the Company intends to provide an update with further details, the Ministry Announcement from February 18, 2021, wherein it endorsed Facedrive's TraceSCAN, can be found below:
"SCARBOROUGH ? The Ontario government is providing Facedrive Inc. with $2.5 million through the Ontario Together Fund to accelerate the deployment of its wearable contact tracing technology, TraceSCAN, which alerts users within a workplace who have been in close contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. The company anticipates manufacturing about 150,000 devices under this project and creating 68 new jobs, including software, firmware and hardware engineers and machine learning specialists.
"In our fight against COVID-19, Ontario is continuing to support companies like Facedrive that are developing the innovative technology that adds new layers of defence against this global pandemic," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "Through the Ontario Together Fund, we will continue to make sure that companies like Facedrive have the resources they need to supply emergency products and innovative solutions during these challenging times, while creating skilled jobs for our province."
Facedrive developed TraceSCAN's made-in-Ontario AI-powered solution, which can track staff exposure to COVID-19 without GPS information, in partnership with the University of Waterloo. Workers simply wear the device and the wearable technology will communicate with others within a workplace environment. If users are less than six feet apart, the device beeps to alert the users. If anyone in the working premises reports COVID-19 positive, HR or health and safety officials can log in to the online reporting dashboard and see who they have been in contact with and their risk level, then send an exposure notification. Contact tracing will be made simple with all of the close proximity contact having been recorded.
The technology is designed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 for workplaces and settings where smartphone use is limited or prohibited, such as airlines, schools, construction sites, and long-term care homes. It will add another layer of safety and protection through identification and isolation of new COVID-19 cases, tracing back the interactions and helping to stop the contamination.
TraceSCAN has already been deployed in multiple pilot projects, leading to the successful adoption of the technology in real-world settings. Some of the businesses and organizations that are using TraceSCAN include Air Canada, LiUNA and Waywayseecappo First Nation.
"My door is always open to new and innovative solutions to help keep workers safe during COVID-19," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "Contact tracing technologies have the potential to protect essential workers until the province receives a sufficient number of vaccines. We need more made-in-Ontario solutions to keep workers safe."
"The continued support of the Ontario Government is very valuable to us at Facedrive, and we are humbled to receive this support facilitating our work to fight COVID-19," said Sayan Navaratnam, Chairman and CEO of Facedrive. "We are looking forward to working side by side with government institutions in our joint mission to create safe environments for our communities, restart our economy and get workers back on the job. The Ontario Together Fund will be instrumental in helping us grow production volumes, invest in top talent, create jobs and ultimately establish TraceSCAN as a global leader and household name for contact tracing."
The province's initial pandemic response was to procure available stock, the majority of which was from international sources. Over the course of the pandemic, efforts to develop Ontario-based production has resulted in a shift to 74 per cent of PPE purchases being domestically produced (by procurement value). Key categories such as N95 respirators, surgical masks, face shields, wipes, disinfectants and hand sanitizer are all domestically produced at production sites in Ontario.
"This is another great local example of the Ontario Spirit at work", said Raymond Cho, Minister of Seniors and Accessibility and MPP for Scarborough North. "With our government's support, new companies like Facedrive can expand their operation and production of innovative Ontario Made technology, creating jobs and opportunities right here in Scarborough."
Through the Ontario Together Fund, the government is delivering targeted investments that will increase the province's stockpile of made-in-Ontario products and PPE. This innovative technology and manufacturing capacity will help the province to combat the current COVID-19 outbreak and prepare for potential challenges in the future, while supporting local businesses during the safe and gradual reopening of the province.
About the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (formally known as Ministry of Economic Development and Growth) in the Canadian Province of Ontario is responsible for programs to attract and retain business and economic development in the province. This is pursued through research and development funding, business advisory services, career exploration opportunities and business startup programs for youth, skills development and marketing Ontario to potential international business investors.
Facedrive is a multi-faceted "people-and-planet first" tech ecosystem offering socially-responsible services to local communities with a strong commitment to doing business fairly, equitably and sustainably. As part of this commitment, Facedrive's vision is to fulfil its mandate through a number of verticals that either leverage existing technologies of the Company or project synergies with existing lines of business (the "Facedrive Verticals"). The Facedrive Verticals include its rideshare business ("Facedrive Rideshare"), sustainable e-commerce platform ("Facedrive Marketplace"), food-delivery service ("Facedrive Foods"), e-social platform ("Facedrive Social") and its contact-tracing and sustainable health services business ("Facedrive Health").
Facedrive Rideshare was among the first to offer a wide variety of environmentally and socially responsible solutions in the Transportation as a Service (TaaS) space, planting thousands of trees based on user consumption and offering choices between electric, hybrid and conventional vehicles (including, more recently, electric and hybrid vehicles on a subscription basis through Steer). Facedrive Marketplace offers curated merchandise created from sustainably sourced materials. Facedrive Foods offers contactless delivery of a wide variety of foods right to consumers' doorsteps, with a focus on doing so in a socially and environmentally-conscious manner. Facedrive Social strives to keep people connected in a physically-distanced world through its HiQ and other e-socialization platforms that invite users to interact based on common interests and by offering gamification and mutual community support features. Facedrive Health strives to develop and offer innovative technological solutions to the most acute health challenges including its proprietary TraceSCAN wearable technology for contact tracing. Facedrive envisions changing the ridesharing, food delivery, e-commerce, social and health tech narratives for the better, for everyone, and is currently operational in Canada and the United States.
For more about Facedrive, visit www.facedrive.com.
100 Consilium Pl, Unit 104, Scarborough, ON, Canada M1H 3E3
Certain information in this press release contains forward-looking information. This information is based on management's reasonable assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to us and are made as of the date of this press release. Actual results (such as the success of any initiatives launched based on the OTF funds) and the timing of events may differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking information as a result of various factors. Information regarding our expectations of future results, performance, achievements, prospects or opportunities or the markets in which we operate is forward-looking information. Statements containing forward-looking information are not facts but instead represent management's expectations, estimates and projections regarding future events or circumstances. Many factors could cause our actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements or future events or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
See "Forward-Looking Information" and "Risk Factors" in Facedrive's Filing Statement dated August 28, 2019 for a discussion of the uncertainties, risks and assumptions associated with these statements. Readers are urged to consider the uncertainties, risks and assumptions carefully in evaluating the forward-looking information and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such information. We have no intention and undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities law.
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