Archived — Minister of Industry Announces Support for Aerospace and Defence Project

Saint-Laurent, Quebec, January 13, 2009—The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, and the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, announced today an investment in research and development (R&D) for innovative cockpit technologies by Esterline CMC Electronics Inc. (CMC).

Minister of Industry Tony Clement speaking at CMC Electronics announcement

"Our government acknowledges the strategic importance of Canada's manufacturing sector and is implementing measures to strengthen it," said Minister Clement. "In addition to encouraging Canadian companies to perform cutting-edge R&D, the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI) attracts foreign investment to Canada, advances innovation and helps develop a highly skilled workforce."

"Our government is committed to setting the right business conditions to build a competitive and dynamic economy," said Minister Paradis. "Creating public–private sector partnerships with companies such as CMC will help to ensure that Canada remains at the forefront of the aerospace and defence industry."

Based in Saint-Laurent, Quebec, this $149.4-million project will expand CMC's technological capabilities by developing cost-effective cockpit technologies for next-generation business jets, helicopters and transport aircraft. The Government of Canada is contributing a $52.3-million repayable investment towards the project. The goal of the project is to create a complete cockpit system with open architecture, which will make the components of the cockpit easily customizable and adaptable to both changing technologies and varied aircraft platforms. This project will create and/or maintain many high-technology jobs for Canadian engineers and professionals.

"This partnership with the federal government will help position CMC as an important player in the high-technology market of integrated cockpits," said Jean-Pierre Mortreux, President and CEO of CMC. "By undertaking this R&D project, our company will continue to develop products that are on the leading edge of this ever-changing industry."

The Canadian aerospace industry has annual sales of approximately $22.7 billion and employs 82 000 skilled workers throughout the country.

This investment is being made through SADI, which supports strategic industrial research and pre-competitive development projects in the aerospace, defence, space and security industries. SADI is managed by the Industrial Technologies Office, a special operating agency of Industry Canada with a mandate to advance leading-edge R&D by Canadian industries.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Pema Lhalungpa
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
Minister of Industry
613-995-9001

Media Relations
Industry Canada
613-943-2502


Backgrounders

Minister of Industry Announces $52.3-Million Repayable Investment in Aerospace and Defence Project

Canada's government is investing $52.3-million in research and development (R&D) to develop integrated aircraft cockpit technologies that are more cost-effective and reliable. CMC Electronics Inc. (CMC), based in Saint-Laurent, Quebec, will undertake a $149.4 million project to develop a fully integrated, modern, digital, glass cockpit and communication system, with open architecture, for the next-generation of business jets, helicopters and transport aircraft.

This system's characteristics will allow CMC's clients to easily interchange third-party equipment or functions within the cockpit. This will result in greater interoperability of industry components and more flexible and simple upgrades over time, making this new system more cost-effective. The components of the cockpit will be customizable and adaptable to both changing technologies and varied aircraft platforms, allowing companies to upgrade or change the equipment at any time without having to go back to the supplier.

The glass cockpit system will feature electronic instruments and LCDs (liquid crystal displays), or computer displays, as opposed to traditional mechanical gauges. Glass cockpits are becoming the modern-day standard due to their improved efficiency, reliability and legibility over mechanical systems.

In addition to technological benefits, this R&D project will have a positive economic effect. Throughout the project, CMC will create and/or maintain high-technology employment for Canadian engineers and scientists. The company will also use this project to increase its number of Canadian suppliers, in addition to increasing the level of strategic work with current suppliers, creating benefits for the aerospace and defence supply chain. Overall, by undertaking this project, CMC will be better positioned to supply complete systems for the next-generation of commercial aircraft.

Advances in science and technology are essential to strengthen the competitiveness of Canada's economy. This investment in R&D undertaken by CMC demonstrates the government's commitment to set the right conditions for business innovation, promoting prosperity for all Canadians.

Founded in 1903, CMC designs and produces leading technology electronics products for the commercial and military markets, and employs approximately 1200 workers. A fully owned subsidiary of Esterline Technologies Corporation of Bellevue, Washington, the company is based in Montréal, Quebec (headquarters), with additional offices in Ottawa, Ontario, and Chicago, Illinois.

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI), launched in April 2007, supports private sector industrial research and pre-competitive development in Canada's aerospace, defence, security and space industries through repayable investments. For more information about SADI, please visit the Industrial Technologies Office website.

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI)

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative supports strategic industrial research and pre-competitive development (R&D) projects in the aerospace, defence, space and security (A&D) industries.

Launched on April 2, 2007, this new initiative was developed with three key objectives in mind:

  1. to encourage strategic R&D that will result in innovation and excellence in new products and services;
  2. to enhance the competitiveness of Canadian A&D companies; and
  3. to foster collaboration among research institutes, universities, colleges and the private sector.

By investing in strategic R&D projects, SADI contributes to the development of technologies that focus on next-generation products or services, build on Canadian strengths, and enable Canadian companies to participate in major platforms.

SADI is administered with high standards of transparency and accountability by the Industrial Technologies Office. All project applications undergo extensive evaluation using a clear and rigorous process with published assessment criteria. These criteria include the company's ability to achieve the stated objectives, the project's technology benefits, and the expected social and economic benefits.

All Canadians receive value from SADI's contributions through the technological and economic benefits that result from supported R&D projects. These benefits include spinoffs in diverse sectors of the economy, such as nanotechnology and information technology, as well as the development of collaborative partnerships with universities, colleges and research institutions. Contributions to R&D made through SADI will also contribute to high-quality employment opportunities, strengthen Canada's workforce with talented scientists, engineers and researchers, and leverage private sector investments in R&D.

Canada's A&D industries are recognized around the world for producing leading-edge products and services. Domestically, these industries are important economic drivers in all regions of the country and are collectively significant players in the development of Canada's knowledge-based economy. Among the world leaders, Canada's A&D industries offer competitive and innovative solutions and are backed by a highly skilled workforce.

The Industrial Technologies Office is a Special Operating Agency of Industry Canada, with a mandate to advance leading-edge R&D by Canadian industries.

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