Industry Canada

Industry Canada

December 01, 2014 11:41 ET

Investing in Cutting-Edge Severe Weather Forecasting Technology

Industry Minister James Moore announces important support for advanced manufacturing in Quebec

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Dec. 1, 2014) - Industry Canada

Industry Minister James Moore today visited the National Optics Institute (INO) in Québec City where he announced a new partnership between the Canadian Space Agency and INO to improve forecasting of severe weather events. The Government of Canada will invest $650,000 to support the development of new technology that will monitor how ice clouds contribute to severe weather in Canada. It's the first such project of its kind and one that has the potential to be marketed around the world. This important funding will allow scientists to conduct essential experiments to better understand why and how winter storms occur.

The Minister also participated in a discussion with representatives of some of Quebec's most successful manufacturing companies to learn more about opportunities for growth in the province. He emphasized the Government's ongoing work to ensure that Quebec manufacturers have the right economic conditions in place to ensure their continued success-both within Canada and in new markets around the world.

Quick facts

  • As part of its partnership with the Canadian Space Agency, the National Optics Institute will develop an instrument called the far infrared radiometer, which incorporates new thermal sensor (microbolometer) technology to be used in ground-based and airborne experiments in the Arctic. This is an important step towards the development of a space-borne instrument of this type.
  • The National Optics Institute (INO) remains a real catalyst in the greater Québec region and is one of the drivers of the economy. It provides 200 high-quality jobs and owns 206 patents. INO is also responsible for 29 spinoff companies that provide more than 1,000 high-paying jobs. INO has an annual budget of $33 million and with its partners contributes over half a billion dollars to Canada's economy every year. Its activities generate a leverage effect of 1:10. For example, every dollar invested in INO represents ten dollars in economic growth. Also, for each job created at INO, there are nine others created or retained throughout the Canadian economy, six of which are in Quebec.
  • Manufacturing employs close to 1.7 million Canadians, and almost all of these jobs are full-time.
  • In support of the manufacturing sector, the Government has negotiated trade agreements that will expand market opportunities and create jobs. It also eliminated tariffs on machinery and equipment, making Canada the first tariff-free zone for manufacturing inputs in the G20, and renewed the accelerated capital cost allowance in 2013, providing $1.4 billion in deferred taxes to Canadian manufacturers that invest in machinery and equipment.
  • The Government has also focused on establishing the right conditions for success, lowering taxes, cutting the corporate tax rate from over 22 percent in 2007 to 15 percent today, and removing the federal capital tax.
  • A key part of supporting manufacturers is ensuring that they have global markets for the goods they produce. Through the Global Markets Action Plan, the Government has concluded seven different free trade pacts with 38 countries. It has also concluded or implemented foreign investment promotion and protection agreements with 22 countries and continues to deepen trade ties with the largest, most dynamic markets in the world.
  • Canada's two most recent trade agreements, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, promise to add at least $14 billion annually in new economic activity, equivalent to creating more than 90,000 new jobs.
  • Since 2006, Canada has gone from having free trade agreements with only 5 countries to now having free trade agreements in force, or being finalized, with 43 countries around the world.
  • Both the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development expect Canada to be among the strongest growing economies in the G7 over this year and the next.
  • In 2013, Canada leapt from sixth to second place in Bloomberg's ranking of the most attractive destinations for business.
  • According to KPMG, total business tax costs in Canada are the lowest in the G7.

Quotes

"Quebec's aerospace and space industries should be celebrated as two of the most innovation-driven sectors of Canada's economy. Today's investment to develop critical weather forecasting technology will only strengthen Quebec's contribution to Canada's space industry. To ensure that Quebec manufacturers remain strong, our government has kept taxes low, reduced red tape, and promoted trade abroad and skills training at home-all of which are necessary conditions to create jobs and grow our economy."

- James Moore, Industry Minister

"INO welcomes this opportunity to collaborate once again with the Canadian Space Agency, contributing the unique know-how of our company. We are committed to further advancing thermal sensor technology, and we are thrilled to work on this project."

- Jean-Yves Roy, President and CEO, INO

Associated link

-National Optics Institute

-Backgrounder

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Backgrounder

Government of Canada invests in cutting-edge severe weather forecasting technology

The Government of Canada, through the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), is awarding a contract of $650,000 to the National Optics Institute (INO) to further develop and test a new thermal imaging sensor (far infrared radiometer [FIRR]) that requires no cooling and is compact enough to fly on a very small satellite. This will be the first of its kind and may eventually open new commercial opportunities for Canadian industry.

This instrument will detect ice clouds forming at high latitudes that contribute to the cold, dry air masses feeding mid-latitude winter storms. Satellite measurements of these clouds and their impacts on atmospheric cooling will improve our ability to forecast severe weather events like unusual winter storms.

The FIRR incorporates new detector technology for extended thermal sensing. It will be tested in an airborne campaign in the Canadian Arctic in spring 2015 and in a ground-based campaign at Eureka in winter 2015/16.

These campaigns involve collaboration between government departments and university scientists across Canada, with funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for Climate Change and Atmospheric Research. Scientists will test the technology and evaluate the data in preparation for future space missions. Analysis of the FIRR data from the airborne and ground-based campaigns will leverage resources from several major university research projects supported by NSERC.

The airborne campaign scheduled for spring 2015 in the Canadian Arctic will be supported by NSERC, Environment Canada, the CSA and the Alfred Wegener Institute's Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research.

Demonstration of this new technology, and the scientific measurements that it enables, is a step towards an eventual space-borne instrument of this type. This technology is envisioned for one of the previously announced micro-satellite candidate missions: Thin Ice Clouds in the Far InfraRed Experiment.

Contact Information

  • Jake Enwright
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Industry
    343-291-2500

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    343-291-1777
    media-relations@ic.gc.ca