Archived — Minister of Industry Announces $27-Million Repayable Contribution in the Development of Innovative Landing Gear Technologies

The Honourable Jim Prentice, PC, QC, MP
Minister of Industry

Héroux Devtek

Longueuil, Quebec
September 3, 2008

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Good morning. Thank you for the warm welcome. It is a pleasure to be here today in Longueuil to participate in this announcement.

In 2007, your city was ranked by Canadian Business magazine as one of the Top 10 places in Canada to do business. What a great honour, and one that can be exemplified by Longueuil's thriving aerospace industry.

Today we are here to celebrate the achievements of one of Longueuil's leaders — Héroux Devtek Inc.

Over the years, this company has realized a high degree of success, and a few recent examples come to mind.

This summer, I accompanied members of Canada's aerospace industry to take part in the Farnborough International Airshow — widely considered one of the finest aerospace events in the world.

Here Canadian companies showcased their strengths, products and first-class know-how to an audience made up of the biggest players in the international aerospace industry.

And Héroux Devtek was no exception.

The company received a high profile at Farnborough and was successful in landing contracts with two major companies. These included a contract to provide the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer with the landing gear for its new Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 business aircraft programs, and an agreement to manufacture primary structural components for the new Bell Helicopter 429 commercial helicopter.

Another recent achievement was winning a contract with Bombardier Aerospace to provide the landing gear for the newly launched Learjet 85 business aircraft program.

These types of accomplishments don't just happen by accident. In the aerospace and defence sector, successful companies are those that stay on top of industry trends by creating new products and services to meet the needs of their clients.

This means that a commitment to research and development (R&D) is critical.

Héroux Devtek is currently embarking on an R&D project to develop landing gear technologies with increased reliability and improved performance for the next generation of aircraft.

And today, I am pleased to announce that the Government of Canada will support Héroux Devtek in this endeavour by providing a $27-million repayable investment. This investment will be made through the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative, or SADI, as it is commonly known.

In addition to developing advanced landing gear technologies, such as in-flight monitoring systems and electric-based components — known as "fly-by-wire" by those in the industry — this project will seek to "green" landing gear by exploring materials and manufacturing processes that are more environmentally friendly.

Héroux Devtek will also use this project to further its manufacturing capacity. By strengthening its design, development and integration capabilities, Héroux Devtek will expand upon its ability to supply fully integrated landing gear systems to its clients.

The Government of Canada recognizes the world-class ability of our aerospace and defence industries to conduct innovative R&D.

We are committed to encouraging continued excellence in this important sector of the economy.

This can be demonstrated by the creation of SADI, which helps to leverage much-needed private sector investment in R&D.

I can also point to the work we have done on the Canada First procurements.

Our industrial benefits policy ensures that every dollar spent on defence procurement gets invested back into the Canadian economy in high-technology projects.

Why high technology? Well, because high-tech expertise is the backbone of the aerospace and defence sector.

The projects that are realized as a result of defence procurements are high quality and are important economic opportunities for Canadian industry.

In the end, opportunities created through effective policies — such as industrial benefits and programs like SADI — translate into increased competitiveness for our aerospace and defence companies.

Today's investment in Héroux Devtek is good news for Longueuil and for the aerospace and defence sector as a whole.

The benefits of undertaking R&D are not a secret. Not only does it help companies to boost their performance in an increasingly competitive business environment, but R&D also has wider economic, technological and social benefits for Canada.

Private sector R&D adds to the collective knowledge base and skill sets of employees. It creates high-quality and well-paying jobs. It results in technological spinoffs in other sectors of the economy. It creates energy-efficient technologies, as well as those that produce less waste. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture.

With its long-standing commitment to R&D, Héroux Devtek recognizes these benefits.

Thanks to this project, Longueuil will see the creation of highly skilled employment opportunities for engineers.

Small and medium-sized enterprises will also benefit from this investment, as the project will generate added benefits for companies and opportunities for collaboration within Montréal's aerospace cluster.

On a larger scale, this project will seek to reduce the environmental footprint of landing gear throughout its entire life cycle: that is, during manufacturing, in service use on aircraft, maintenance and overhauling, and lastly, disposal.

By supporting Héroux Devtek in the development and adaptation of new strategic technologies, the federal government's investment through SADI will help a Canadian company remain a leader in the supply of landing gear parts and systems.

On behalf of my colleagues, I would like to extend my best wishes to Héroux Devtek as it undertakes this exciting project.

Thank you.

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