Industry Canada

Industry Canada

December 13, 2006 10:06 ET

Canada's New Government Invests $350 Million to Improve Aircraft Engine Technology and Fuel Efficiency

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 13, 2006) - The Honourable Michael M. Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, and Dr. Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament for Oshawa and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, on behalf of the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, today announced two repayable investments totalling $350 million to develop the next generation of gas turbine engines. The funding is part of a $1.5-billion program, undertaken by Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp., to develop lighter, more fuel-efficient aircraft engines, benefiting Canadians through increased productivity, competitiveness and prosperity that flow from Canada's aerospace industry.

"Canada's new government recognizes the world-class ability of our aerospace industry to conduct innovative research and development," said Minister Bernier. "These strategic investments will promote collaboration between the industry, universities and other research institutes."

"Pratt & Whitney Canada has positioned Canada as a centre of excellence in gas turbine engines," said Minister Fortier. "These projects will enhance our reputation and provide economic benefits across the country. Advantage Canada is about strengthening Canada's position in the world."

"These investments are in line with our Advantage Canada objectives," said Dr. Carrie. "We are creating opportunities for a highly skilled work force and targeting new R&D investments in areas where Canada can continue to be a world leader. Advantage Canada lists knowledge advantage as a key priority for our economy, thereby creating the best-educated, most skilled and flexible workforce in the world. By hosting over 200 students every year through co-op programs, Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. is contributing to this knowledge advantage."

The new engines are expected to reduce emissions to levels 60 percent below industry standards, resulting in better combustion and fuel efficiency. Collaboration with university researchers will concentrate on reducing the engines' noise pollution levels. Work will also focus on reducing waste and eliminating the use of toxic products in the manufacturing process.

Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. will undertake two projects to design, develop, test and optimize the new engines.

The Gas Turbine Engine Technology Research Program will receive a repayable investment of $137 million towards a $367.5-million project involving universities to undertake initiatives that will make future engines lighter, more fuel-efficient and more durable and environmentally friendly.

The Pre-Competitive Technology Development Program for Gas Turbine Engine Applications will receive a repayable investment of $213 million towards a $1.2-billion project. One of the primary goals of this project is to substantially reduce the engine development cycle time to a target of 24 months. This later stage R&D activity will test the new technology on actual engine demonstrations in a pre-competitive environment.

Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. works closely with 20 Canadian universities and colleges, hiring a large number of Canada's graduating class of aerospace engineers each year.

This investment is being made through Technology Partnerships Canada, an agency of Industry Canada, using a new model contribution agreement that emphasizes enhanced transparency and accountability.

See backgrounder for further details on this project.

Backgrounder

Canada's New Government Invests $350 Million to Improve Aircraft Engine Technolgy and Fuel Efficiency

The Government of Canada will invest $350 million in two repayable Gas Turbine Engine projects being undertaken by Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. (P&WC) for research and development (R&D) to improve aircraft engine technology and fuel efficiency.

The main competitive advantage of Canada's aerospace industry is the ongoing commitment to technological development. The primary governmental objective is to maintain a strong, innovative, internationally competitive industry that includes support for targeted R&D technologies. These new technologies will benefit our economy while contributing to the further development of this vital national industry.

These investments secure the ongoing development of Canadian intellectual property rights and solidify Canada as a place for foreign investment. The projects are part of P&WC's pre-competitive research and development program.

The aircraft gas turbine industry is at the forefront of technology. The ultimate goal of all R&D activity at P&WC is to bring a new product to market at the right time and to further compress the engine development cycle time to 24 months or less.

The Gas Engine Turbine Technology Research Program (GTR) will receive a conditionally repayable investment of $137 million for a $367.5 million project to continue the R&D conducted to develop and test new component technologies. This research is addressing the increasingly high market demand for engines to be significantly lighter, offer improved fuel consumption and be available at reduced costs. The concerted efforts between P&WC, Canadian universities, and the National Research Council will develop analytical tools for predicting noise levels generated within combustors and exhaust ducts. This project represents the only R&D effort of its type and size in Canada.

Commitment to rigorous environmental practises is a major consideration of all the work being undertaken in GTR. A key feature of the R&D on the new engines aims at reducing engine emissions to levels 60% below industry standard resulting in better combustion and fuel economy. The company intends to reduce waste products and eliminate environmentally toxic products in advance of legislative and regulatory requirements.

The Pre-Competitive Engine Technology Development Program for Gas Turbine Engine Applications represents a $213 million repayable investment in a $1.2 billion project. Specific applications based on numerous technologies of the research phase will be developed into actual engine demonstrations. This technology development program covers the demonstration of technologies in the near term, up to 5 years, and the validation and integration of these technologies for engine programs.

The four drivers for technology development are 1) integration between engineering and manufacturing engine technologies, 2) responding to the short term needs of customers requiring redesigns and technology development, 3) improved manufacturing processes and 4) feedback of field experience into repair technologies. These improvements will be achieved using applied research, development, system integration and innovation work, and pooling the university and industry base to develop new technologies.

P&WC produces the advanced technologies that become the features of the next generation of engines. Their established, solid ties to 20 universities across Canada will yield the cooperation to help further its technology plan. As well, the company has a wide and technically competent supplier base, which is also an important part of meeting their objectives.

P&WC is a world leader in the small and medium gas turbine engine market. It produces engines for general aviation, corporate aircraft, aircraft trainers, regional transport aircraft, helicopters and large auxiliary power units. As Canada's leader in aerospace R&D, P&WC has more than 7000 employees located in St-Hubert, QC, Lethbridge and Calgary, AB, Mississauga, ON, and Halifax, NS, and its corporate headquarters in Longueuil, QC. Pratt & Whitney Canada is owned by United Technologies Corporation of Hartford, Connecticut.

These particular R&D projects will be divided between the two primary work locations of Longueuil, QC and Mississauga, ON.

This news release and other documents are available on the Technology Partnerships Canada website at www.tpc-ptc.ic.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
    Minister of Industry
    Isabelle Fontaine
    613-995-9001
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502