Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada
Government of Manitoba

Government of Manitoba

October 29, 2010 11:30 ET

State-of-the-Art Cold Weather Testing Centre Officially Opens in Thompson, Manitoba

THOMPSON, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Oct. 29, 2010) - The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification and the Honourable Peter Bjornson, Manitoba Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade today joined Rolls-Royce Canada Limited, Pratt & Whitney Canada, the National Research Council Canada (NRC), and other aerospace industry representatives to celebrate the grand opening of the Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environmental Research (GLACIER) facility and the not-for-profit Environmental Test, Research and Education Center (EnviroTREC). 

This world class, state-of-the-art cold weather testing and research facility will benefit Manitoba and the world's aviation industry.

"Our Government is proud to be involved in this exciting partnership," said Minister Yelich. "By working together to develop this state-of-the-art facility we are promoting cutting-edge technology, and creating high-quality jobs and educational opportunities right here in northern Manitoba."

"The Glacier test facility in Thompson reinforces Manitoba's reputation as a global aerospace centre and strengthens Thompson's importance as an international cold weather test centre, said Minister Bjornson. "The province is pleased to support Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce as they introduce the next generation of advanced technology low emission aircraft engines."

"As a founding member of the facility, NRC is proud of its continued role in GLACIER and EnviroTREC and of its long-standing relationships with its valued industrial partners, Rolls- Royce Canada and Pratt and Whitney Canada," said John R. McDougall, NRC's President. "This facility is an outstanding example of the impact that collaboration, targeted research and technology development can have on a key industrial sector, and on the broader community."

EnviroTREC is a year-round research facility specializing in supporting engine icing certification and research. EnviroTREC is co-located with industry in this new facility built by Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environment Research Inc. (GLACIER) which is a limited joint venture between Rolls-Royce Canada Limited and Pratt & Whitney Canada.

"GLACIER will be a highly advanced centre for ice testing which is critical to the aerospace industry to ensure engine dependability and quality. The centre will also be a global leader in cold weather research which will deliver important benefits to the aviation industry," said Walter Di Bartolomeo, Chairman of the Board of GLACIER.

Funding of $42 million for the facility includes a Government of Canada investment of $13.4 million, a $9 million secured, repayable loan from the Province of Manitoba with the balance coming from the aerospace industry.

The opening of this facility and the jobs that are associated demonstrate Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce's commitment to Canada's economy through the Government's Industrial Regional Benefits (IRB) policy. The Program ensures high-value economic stimulus is injected into the economy, creating jobs and opportunities for Canadian workers and their families.

Through the IRB policy, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is helping to facilitate industry opportunities and partnerships for western Canadian firms. WD works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and represents the interests of western Canadians in national decision-making. 

Recognized globally for research and innovation, National Research Council Canada (NRC) is a leader in the development of an innovative, knowledge-based economy for Canada through science and technology. As home to Canada's national aerospace laboratory, NRC undertakes and promotes research and development in support of the Canadian aerospace community, in matters affecting the design, manufacture, performance, use and safety of aerospace vehicles.

The role of Manitoba Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade (ETT) is to facilitate sustainable economic growth by supporting workforce skills development and strengthening the performance and competitiveness of industry in order to enhance the quality of life for all Manitobans.


The Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environmental Research (GLACIER) facility and not-for-profit Environmental Test, Research, and Education Center (EnviroTREC) were announced in Thompson, Manitoba on April 16, 2009.

The facility is a year-round engine testing and certification facility specializing in engine icing. Rolls-Royce is planning to start using the facility for certification program of its new Trent XWB engine, developed to power the Airbus A350 aircraft family and Pratt & Whitney will test the new Geared Turbofan – PurePower engine. The facility will also be used for a variety of performance, endurance and specialty testing on a year-round basis outside of the icing season.

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) has invested in this, the largest, most advanced cold weather testing and research facility in the world, to strengthen western Canadian competitiveness, research and technology development.

In recognition of its world-class reputation in gas turbine engine research, the National Research Council Canada (NRC) has developed and delivered the engine icing equipment and controls for the GLACIER facility and has committed to providing ongoing icing technology support and research and technology development to ensure that this market-leading facility remains at the forefront of technology. GLACIER also provides NRC with an opportunity to expand its knowledge of the effects of ice crystal ingestion on the operation of large aircraft engines.

EnviroTREC (formerly CanETREC—Canadian Environmental Test Research and Education Center) is a not-for-profit research consortium of industry, NRC and Academia with the aim of stimulating collaborative research in specific areas of gas turbine technologies and attracting and developing highly qualified professionals with Canada.

Through strategic partnerships with industry, universities, colleges and post-secondary schools, EnviroTREC is intended to attract top international students and researchers while creating a skilled workforce in northern Manitoba. This leading edge technology and research will give the Canadian aerospace industry the capability to work on the next generation of aircraft and position them at the forefront of future technology developments.

The Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy is an important element of the Government of Canada's overall procurement process for major defence and security purchases. The IRB Policy enables the Government of Canada to leverage major investments in military equipment to encourage long-term industrial development and significant economic activity here in Canada.

The IRB Policy requires prime contractors to work with Canadian firms or make investments in the high-tech sectors of the Canadian economy, in an amount usually equal to the value of the defence contract they've won.

Contact Information

  • Western Economic Diversification
    Office of the Minister
    Lloyd Suchet
    National Research Council Canada
    Dominique Guerin-Garnett
    Senior Communications Advisor
    Communication Services Manitoba
    Joe Czech
    Communications Coordinator