Archived — SADI Program Highlights 2011–2012

1. Introduction

Canada's aerospace, defence, space and security (A&D) industries are major contributors to our nation's economy and important global players. Canada's aerospace industry is the fifth largest worldwide, with annual revenues of $22 billion and more than 700 companies across the country.Footnote 1 This industry supports more than 160,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs to the Canadian economy, including around 70,000 direct jobs in 2011. The defence and security industry comprises more than 2,000 firms, employs approximately 71,000 Canadians, and generated $12.6 billion in annual revenues in 2011Footnote 2.

In the global marketplace, research and development (R&D) is a key driver of economic growth, and innovative companies are more likely than others to be part of that growth. R&D allows Canada to compete in new markets and industries, and helps Canadian businesses offer their customers new or improved products, processes and services. With annual investments of more than $1.6 billion each year, the aerospace sector is among Canada's largest contributors to Canadian R&D activitiesFootnote 3.

Innovative R&D benefits individual Canadians too, through economic development, employment opportunities, and the potential environmental and safety benefits of new or improved technologies (for example: better fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, or enhanced emergency communications capabilities).

Canadian companies must invest in innovation to maintain and increase their global market shares. Unfortunately, Canadian business expenditures in R&D tend to be low compared to other developed countries. In times of economic uncertainty, companies may reduce their R&D expenditures, potentially slowing the pace of innovation and "making it difficult to stay on the leading edge".Footnote 4

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI) accelerates innovation by Canadian A&D companies to produce economic, technological and social benefits for Canadians. The program provides repayable contributions in support of strategic industrial and pre-competitive R&D. SADI was launched in 2007 and is delivered by the Industrial Technologies Office (ITO) of Industry Canada.

This report covers the SADI program, from to , and highlights developments in 2011–2012.

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