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Feliciano Innovation Center Responds to Critical Needs During Crisis
Montclair, N.J., May 18, 2020 – Montclair State’s MIX Lab has joined forces with Montclair Design Week to respond to the dire need for PPE (personal protective equipment) and other medical supplies in New York and New Jersey. During the past month, more than 22,885 pieces of gear have been designed, assembled and donated to over a dozen medical facilities by a team consisting of students, faculty and volunteers.
“These volunteers are making an admirable contribution to the solutions necessary to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mimi Feliciano, founder and CEO of FEM Real Estate in Montville and Advisory Board Member of the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Montclair State University where the MIX Lab is housed. The MIX Lab facility allows students and community members to work together to solve problems using innovation and 3D printing.
The broad initiative known as the “Shield Our Heroes” campaign began in early April and also includes William Paterson University. The team works closely with medical professionals to determine shifting needs. They plan to continue their efforts until late May. The recipients of PPE donations include Hackensack Meridian Health in Montclair and Hackensack; University Hospital Newark; St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson; East Orange General Hospital; Bayonne Medical Center, and all the hospitals in the St. Barnabas chain.
Although the MIX Lab team began producing about 350 face shields a day on 3D printers, they soon realized it was an inefficient and costly method for meeting the growing demand. They quickly shifted gears and freed up 3D printers to make specialty items such as mask straps and ventilator splitters. As a result, face shields are assembled manually and require less 3D printing, according to Iain Kerr, co-director of the MIX Lab. Kerr along with fellow faculty member Jason Frasca oversee the project.
“This is a fast-moving ecosystem with discoveries, changes and innovations occurring every day. What you were doing or preparing for yesterday will be different from what you need tomorrow,” said Kerr. “We’ve been flexible and nimble and not fixed on any one design or any one product.”
On a daily basis, an assembly line of volunteers and students work in shifts to produce over 1,000 shields per day, according to Kerr. Their goal is to deliver 30,000 face shields to those in need.
To keep the effort funded and to recruit more volunteers, Montclair State has set up a crowdfunding/giving page. Every dollar raised equals one face shield. To date, they’ve raised over $17,000 with a goal to reach $30,000 by the end of the month, according to their Facebook page.
Feliciano’s Fund Entrepreneurship
Mimi and Edwin Feliciano are entrepreneurs who established the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Montclair State University to provide vital resources and support to Montclair State students. Their latest commercial endeavor is South Beach at Long Branch, an oceanfront condominium project that has changed the landscape of the Jersey Shore while featuring a new style of living.
Consisting of 42 high-end residences, South Beach offers private elevator entrances and a long list of amenities such as a private dining room onsite with a full commercial kitchen as well as a patio area with gas grills and fireplaces, infinity edge salt water pool and a raised sand deck. A business conference center and private guest suites are available throughout the year with valet parking from May 15th to Sept. 30th.
South Beach residences are available with early summer move in dates. Call today for a virtual presentation. For more information, contact the South Beach sales team at (732) 222-0710.
South Beach at Long Branch
350 Ocean Ave., Long Branch, N.J. 07740
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Emma Ackel/Jennifer Glick