Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

April 16, 2009 12:30 ET

Government Investment Supports Development of World Class Cold Weather Testing Centre in Northern Manitoba

THOMPSON, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - April 16, 2009) - Manitoba and the world's aviation industry will benefit from the development of the new Canadian Environmental Test Research and Education Center (CanETREC) in Thompson, thanks to a major investment by the Province of Manitoba and the Government of Canada.

"We are pleased to support this leading edge testing facility," Premier Gary Doer said. "Research and innovation are catalysts for new business opportunities and job creation, and we are pleased to be a part of a project that will help generate new education, training, and job opportunities right here in Thompson."

"Our Government is proud to be investing in the largest, and most advanced cold weather testing and research facility in the world," said the Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. "A facility of this magnitude will be a Northern Canadian flagship centre of excellence that will receive global recognition and usage, helping to attract and retain students, researchers, and industry so they can conduct leading-edge aerospace research right here in Thompson."

CanETREC will be a year-round research facility that specializes in supporting engine icing certification and research and development of new, more efficient and advanced aerospace designs. Through partnerships with secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, CanETREC will offer a wide variety of aeronautical sciences and aerospace research and maintenance programs to attract, develop and retain highly-qualified professionals within Canada. The testing technology used will also be applicable in other sectors, such as bus and automotive manufacturing.

CanETREC will be co-located with industry in a new facility being built by the Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environmental Research Inc. (GLACIER). This state-of-the-art facility is a new joint venture between Rolls-Royce Canada Limited and Pratt & Whitney.

The National Research Council Canada (NRC) will supply, own and operate the icing system in GLACIER. It will also be partnering with CanETREC. For more than 50 years, NRC has been a pioneer in the development of icing simulation technology for aircraft engines and wings, as well as ice detection equipment for aircraft and atmospheric measurement of icing conditions.

"Our government supports science and technology because they create jobs, improve the quality of life of Canadians and strengthen the economy," says Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology. "This facility is an excellent example of how government and industry can work together to build Canada's aerospace capabilities through Canadian research."

"The CanETREC research and educational initiative is a showcase of industry and government partnership in every respect. There is absolutely no doubt that the Government of Canada's vision and innovation has enabled the realization of this very significant enterprise," said Bob Hastings, Executive Director, CanETREC. "The strong and continued support of the Province of Manitoba and City of Thompson has likewise been crucial to making this project a reality. While the facility initially focuses on icing research and builds on NRC's extensive expertise in this domain, plans already exist to extend CanETREC's reach into areas of noise and emissions reduction, as well as, alternative fuels and lubricants."

"Ice testing and research are important for the aviation industry and we are delighted to be working with Pratt & Whitney to take the lead in this important area. This new state of the art facility has been planned for a number of years and will be at the cutting edge of new technology, which will deliver benefits to the wider aviation industry," said Michel Toutant, President and Chief Operating Officer, Rolls-Royce Canada Limited. "The facility will also play a role in developing local skills and expertise. We look forward to working with the Canadian Environmental Test Research and Education Center to support educational and research activities."

"This initiative will benefit the entire northern Manitoba community and provide valuable opportunities for young people in the region in high-tech aviation. It will also help the aerospace industry develop innovative solutions in the area of icing," said Walter Di Bartolomeo, Vice-President Engineering, Pratt & Whitney Canada. "As a leader in collaboration efforts between industry and educational institutions, Pratt & Whitney is greatly looking forward to contributing to the success of CanETREC and GLACIER."

An investment of $13.4 million from the Government of Canada and of $9.0 million secured, repayable loan from the Province of Manitoba towards this major northern initiative will create value-added economic activities in northern Manitoba as the knowledge and technology developed in Thompson emerge into commercial opportunities.

Western Economic Diversification Canada 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.

The National Research Council (NRC) is the Government of Canada's premier organization for research and development. NRC is composed of more than 20 institutes and national programs, spanning a wide variety of disciplines and offering a broad array of services. NRC is located in every province in Canada and plays a major role in stimulating community-based innovation.


The Canadian Environmental Test Research and Education Center (CanETREC) will be a globally unique engine test and certification centre. The prime purpose of this facility will be for icing certification and research of aviation gas turbine engines for Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney, two of the three largest gas turbine manufactures in the world. The testing technology used will also be applicable in other sectors, such as the bus and automotive manufacturing industries.

The Facility will provide industry with the required operational conditions and capability to meet the growing requirements for icing certification and other adverse cold weather conditions. It will also be used for a variety of performance, endurance and specialty testing on a year-round basis outside of the icing season. CanETREC will also include broad based technology, infrastructure and test systems capable of handling current and future gas turbine engines.

CanETREC will be co-located with industry in a new facility being built by the Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environmental Research Inc. (GLACIER). This state-of-the-art facility is a new joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney.

Through strategic partnerships with industry, universities, colleges and post-secondary schools the CanETREC facility will attract top international students and researchers while creating a skilled Northern workforce in Thompson in a non-traditional resource based industry. 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.

In recognition of its world-class reputation in gas turbine engine research, the National Research Council Canada (NRC) will play a key role within the centre. From the research side, NRC's involvement in this facility will enable it to expand its knowledge of the effects of ice crystal ingestion on the operation of large aircraft engines.

Contact Information

  • Western Economic Diversification Canada
    Charlene MacDonald
    A/Regional Communications Manager
    Cell 204-918-0226
    NRC Institute for Aerospace Research
    Sheila Noble
    Communications Officer
    Communication Services Manitoba
    Joe Czech
    Communications Coordinator