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US funds, DEM Consulting at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 – costozero, economy, finance, entrepreneurial policy and leisure magazine

The Salerno-based company is among the four Italian beneficiaries of USAID’s INVEST program aimed at supporting companies in diversifying their business in response to the losses generated by the pandemic. Other 5 Salerno companies assisted by DEM are also involved in this project in the conversion process for the production of surgical masks, with the aim of satisfying 12% of the local demand for these devices

The presentation event of the project USAID INVEST, organized and promoted by DEM Consulting, company specialized in consulting for the manufacturing sector, in collaboration with Confindustria Salerno.

The project is part of a $ 50 million program invested by USAID in Italy and the commitment of the government of the United States of America to help companies in our country cope with the pandemic that has exploded all over the world since last year.

The program unfolds through the allocation of funds, used either as seed capital to attract additional resources to invest in Italian companies that produce medical equipment, or to provide technical assistance to Italian companies that have chosen to expand or convert their business.

The role of DEM Consulting is linked to the second objective, which has chosen to involve in this initiative also other 5 Salerno companies which, since last July, have been supported by the company directed by Andrea Catino in the process of expanding activities for the production of surgical masks.

The Minister Advisor for Economic Affairs of the US Embassy in Italy spoke during the meeting, Mr. William Silkworth; the President of the Campania Region Budget and Finance Commission, Francesco Picarone; the professor of Cardiovascular Diseases of the Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences of the University of Naples Federico II, Eugenio Stabile; the Vice President of Confindustria Salerno, Nicola Scafuro; USAID Invest Project DEM Consulting Coordinator, Andrea Catino; the Project Manager for DEM Consulting Fabrizio Marotta. Finally, two of the companies involved in the technical assistance program represented by Anella Mastalia, CFO MAF Group e Josè Felix Conte, CEO MACO INTERNATIONAL.

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The first to speak was the Minister Advisor for Economic Affairs of the US Embassy in Italy, Mr. William Silkworth who, underlining the historic partnership between the United States and Italy, underlined the reasons and contents of the US commitment to our country: “The response to the pandemic – he said – required levels of global cooperation never seen before. The unshakable friendship between our two countries has prompted the United States to immediately come to the aid of Italy, allocating 60 million dollars to date to help it in the fight against Covid-19. As part of the USAID INVEST initiative, we have created a program to provide grants to the Italian private sector to increase the production capacity of the medical equipment needed by the healthcare sector to respond effectively to the next waves of the pandemic. These aids, for a total of ten million dollars, allow each of the beneficiaries, including DEM Consulting, to bring their specific skills and competences in the fight against Covid. DEM is using these funds to support five Campania manufacturing companies to partially or totally reconvert their production lines to the manufacture of personal protective equipment (PPE), with the aim of satisfying 12% of the local demand for these devices.».

From the USA, to what the Campania Region has done in support of businesses and the community in the words of Dr. Francesco Picarone, President of the Campania Region Budget and Finance Commission: “The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically surprised the whole world. The Campania Region has distinguished itself in Italy for concreteness and administrative capacity, launching a socio-economic plan worth almost one billion euros already in March 2020 to support businesses, professionals, families and temporary workers. The objective during the first phase of the epidemic was to offer the weakest segments of the population and the productive system of the region a concrete and rapid help to better deal with the consequences of the first months of interruption of social and working activity . On the containment of the epidemic, the line of the Campania region has always been of great rigor: we were the first to close schools in October, to demand swabs for those who came from outside, to establish mobility controls from other regions. In the meantime, we have worked on our health facilities by doubling the number of beds and intensive care. Today, from an organizational point of view, we are ready to vaccinate the 4 million and 600 thousand residents in Campania, but, like all regions of Italy, we too suffer from the delay in delivering vaccines. We asked the Draghi government to accelerate the vaccination plan, but also to pay greater attention to the South in the distribution of European funds, the last opportunity to relaunch Italy and to rebalance the gap between North and South.».

To take stock of the health emergency, retracing the stages was Eugenio Stabile, professor of Diseases of thecardiovascular system of the Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences of theuniverseat of the Studies of Naples Federico II: «It all begins in January 2020, when the Chinese authorities report the existence of a mysterious pneumonia to the WHO: Covid-19. After 4 months, the disease spreads all over the world and today has more than 95,000 deaths. To this is added another evil: for more than a year many of the patients suffering from other pathologies have not been able to receive the necessary treatment due to the suffering that the healthcare world experiences. On November 9, 2020, the Pfizer president announces that the vaccine made by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech is 90% effective; the Modern American company follows that on November 16 announces a 95% effective anti-Covid-19 vaccine; finally, on December 27, 2020, the Covid 19 vaccination begins – throughout Europe. Scientific research pushes us to be optimistic, but only by remaining united will we be able to overcome all this and look to the future again with serenity ».

To highlight the role played by Confindustria Salerno in the USAID INVEST project, the Vice President Nicola Scafuro: «Faced with the emergency situation, USAID’s intervention was providential for some companies in the Salerno area that did not allow themselves to be bent by adverse winds but who, on the contrary, increased their business risk by choosing to expand their activities, opening up to the production of PPE. Confindustria Salerno, DEM partner in the research and selection of companies to offer technical assistance was fully involved. Four of these are in fact members of our Territorial and it is a source of pride for us to have created this synergy so effective that looks to the future, in defense of companies and their workers ».

Genesis, project objectives and future perspectives in the interventions of Andrea Catino and Fabrizio Marotta, respectively USAID Invest Project Coordinator and Manager for DEM Consulting: «A year ago DEM Consulting found itself like all Italian companies overwhelmed by the pandemic. In the very first lockdown, we immediately used our experience in the industrial sector, focusing our attention on manufacturing processes and on all complementary activities to the production of protective devices. We have therefore devised a standard conversion model and today, with pride and satisfaction, we record the first important results with the production of almost 4 million masks produced by the first 2 assisted companies. The program will continue until July 2021 with the implementation of the model at other companies in the area».

In closing, the word to the companies benefiting from the sustainable conversion model developed by DEM Consulting. It was the time before Anella Mastalia – Cfo of MAF Group, company specialized in the production of paper converting, with patented and registered products and innovative and exclusive finishing solutions for the processing of paper and cardboard with thickened and customized inserts: “During the pandemic we decided to expand the company portfolio and, thanks to the support of DEM Consulting as part of the USAID Invest program, we set up a new production line of surgical masks, first in the adult type and then in the pediatric version. Today we have proudly activated five production lines, with orders from large companies and twenty new hires for a valid and totally “Made in Italy” product ».

Josè Felix Conte – Ceo MACO International, a company specializing in the production and marketing of titanium dental implants, with branches in Mexico, Morocco and Spain, finally told its personal story of strength and future projection: “In 2020, in order to contribute to the production effort required of the Italian manufacturing to counter the pandemic in progress and, relying on the technical assistance received from DEM Consulting as part of the USAID Invest program, we expanded our production departments by installing suitable machinery to the production of FFP2 surgical masks. Ours are completely Made in Italy devices which, despite the lightness and high comfort, guarantee a very high air filtration according to the regulatory standards and the certifications of internationally accredited bodies. Thanks to this project we were able to increase our workforce by about 20% “.


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