Industry Canada

Industry Canada

December 05, 2011 13:11 ET

Minister of Industry Applauds Quebec Aerospace Industry's Innovation Leadership

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 5, 2011) - The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, today addressed domestic and international aerospace representatives at Aéro Montréal's third biennial Aerospace Innovation Forum. The Minister outlined federal initiatives designed to assist the aerospace industry while emphasizing the need for private sector investment in innovation to ensure its global competitiveness.

"Our government continues to support Canada's aerospace industry by focusing on long-term competitiveness and growth in this job-creating sector," said Minister Paradis. "Through collaborative relationships between customers, suppliers, academia and small and medium-sized enterprises, Canada will maintain its place at the forefront of the global industry."

Canada's aerospace and space sectors are key contributors to the economy, generating annual revenues of over $22 billion. These sectors employ nearly 80,000 Canadians in highly skilled, high-paying jobs in more than 400 firms in all regions of Canada. Quebec revenues totalled approximately $11 billion in 2010, with nearly 40,000 skilled workers employed across the province.

"Aéro Montréal's Aerospace Innovation Forum provides a timely opportunity for discussion and highlights the increased need for collaboration and innovation throughout the Canadian aerospace industry," said Minister Paradis. "As Minister responsible for Québec, I am tremendously proud of the role the province plays in the broader Canadian aerospace sector."

Last month, the Government of Canada invested more than $8 million to support 20 innovative partnerships between colleges and businesses in Quebec through the Natural Science and Engineering Council of Canada's College and Community Innovation program. As part of this investment, Collège Édouard-Montpetit received $2.3 million over five years to implement new methods of inspecting aerospace components made with composite material.

Montréal is home to Canada's largest aerospace cluster and is renowned for its expertise in aircraft assembly, engine manufacturing, maintenance repair and overhaul, avionics and landing gear. It ranks as the third-largest aerospace cluster in the world after Toulouse and Seattle.

Aéro Montréal is a cluster initiative that brings together Quebec's major decision makers from the private sector, academia and unions.


College and Community Innovation Program

The College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program is managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

There are four types of grants available through the CCI Program:

1) Innovation Enhancement (IE) Grants are aimed at enhancing innovation at the community and/or regional level by enabling Canadian colleges to increase their capacity to work with local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These grants support the direct costs associated with applied research and collaborations that facilitate commercialization, as well as technology transfer, adaptation and adoption of new technologies. IE Grants are awarded for either a two-year or five-year period. The two-year grants include funding of $100,000 per year over two years. The five-year grants include base funding of up to $500,000 per year for the first three years and up to $400,000 for the remaining two years.

2) Applied Research and Development (ARD) Grants are intended to provide companies that operate from a Canadian base with access to the knowledge, expertise and capabilities available at Canadian colleges and to train students in essential technical skills required by companies. The grants support short-term and small-scale projects that range from six months to three years in duration, with project costs being shared by the company partner. There are three levels of funding under ARD Grants: under $25,000; up to $75,000; and over $75,000.

3) Applied Research Tools and Instruments (ARTI) Grants support the purchase of research equipment and installations to foster and enhance the ability of colleges to undertake applied research, innovation and training in collaboration with local companies. These grants are one-year awards that assist in buying applied research equipment that costs between $7,000 and $150,000.

4) Technology Access Centre (TAC) Grants provide funding for the core operations of centres established by colleges to address the applied research and innovation needs of local companies. The centres are intended to enhance the ability of companies, particularly SMEs, to become more productive and innovative by enabling them to readily access college expertise, technology and equipment. This access to college capabilities is intended to enhance the productivity, competitiveness and innovation of the participating SMEs. TAC Grants provide five-year, renewable funding of up to $350,000 per year.

Including those projects highlighted in today's announcement, the CCI Program has awarded over $120 million in funding to date, to support 182 projects at 53 colleges across Canada.

Projects are awarded funding through a rigorous peer review process that includes an assessment by the CCI Program Review Committee which is comprised of select members of the Private Sector Advisory Board. These members are leaders from the Canadian business R&D sector. The 18 recipients in this CCI Program competition will receive a total of more than $13 million for up to five years, from fiscal year 2011-12 to fiscal year 2016-17.

CCI Program 2011 Funded Projects:

1) Innovation Enhancement Grants

Collège Édouard-Montpetit (Longueuil, Quebec): The goal of this college's project is to implement new methods of inspecting aerospace components that are manufactured with composite materials. Composites are being used more and more in the manufacturing of new aircraft, to maximize their mechanical characteristics. This project, which is being carried out in partnership with the aerospace industry and several other institutions of higher learning in Quebec, will attempt to develop new methods of inspecting aerospace components manufactured with composite materials, to assure the quality of the parts manufactured.

Project Partners:

  • Héroux Devtek
  • Bombardier
  • L-3 Communication MAS
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada
  • Marquez Transtech
  • Delastek
  • FDC Composites
  • Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe

Cégep André-Laurendeau (Lasalle, Quebec): The goal of this college's project is to establish an applied research and technology transfer program to make companies more competitive. This will be done by helping companies make better use of optical/photonic technologies, giving them an enviable competitive lead over foreign markets. More specifically, this project will develop fibre-optic sensors for four specific applications: monitoring civil engineering structures, detecting environmental pollutants, monitoring stationary industrial machines, and monitoring mechanical and environmental parameters of aircraft.

Project Partners:

  • Theus Technologies
  • QPS Photronics
  • IR Photonics
  • ITF Labs
  • Bombardier
  • Parker Aerospace
  • Développement économique Lasalle
  • McGill University

Cégep de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue (Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Quebec): The goal of this college's project is to support small and medium-sized mining companies in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region and in northern Quebec in their efforts to adapt to the current environmental situation. This project deals with two subjects: the use of passive systems, including sulfate-reducing biofilters and artificial marshes, to treat acid mine drainage; and the revegetation of tailings heaps, waste rock dumps, and other kinds of sites disturbed by the mining industry.

Project Partners:

  • Centre Jardin Lac Pelletier
  • Mines Aurizon Ltée
  • IamGold Corporation
  • Corporation Minière Osisko
  • Technosub
  • Organisme de bassin versant du Témiscamingue

École nationale du cirque de Montréal (Montréal, Quebec): The École nationale de cirque plans to initiate collaborative processes with specialized local and regional private-sector partners for the creation of circus acts. The collaboration, through the development of innovative applied creative research projects, will allow the partners to build on the strategic and competitive advantage they have over their international competitors. The collaboration also aims to recognize new knowledge that has an important and lasting impact on the development of new knowledge and expertise transferable to the private sector and community.

Project Partners:

  • Cirque du Soleil

2) Applied Research Tools and Instruments Grants

Collège Ahunstic (Montréal, Quebec): The goal of this college's project is to develop and establish the necessary methods for printing prototypes incorporating new functionalities, such as flexible screens, printed electronic circuits, and active packaging. For this purpose, the college will enhance the capabilities of its printability laboratory by adding flexographic and sergraphic printing technologies and by upgrading its gravure printing unit. The ultimate goal will be to transfer the findings made and the methodologies developed in the laboratory to industry, for use in production printing machines.

Collège Édouard-Montpetit (Longueuil, Quebec): The goal of this college's project is to acquire a single-component-resin injection system for manufacturing aerospace parts with composite materials. This system will complement the college's current dual-component injection system, which provides high performance and is highly innovative but uses resins not yet certified for aerospace applications. The single-component system will let the college work with resins that are certified for aerospace, and thus develop projects that companies can quickly adapt for industrial use.

Cégep de La Pocatière (La Pocatière, Quebec) – First project: The goal of this project is to develop real-time on-board test and measurement facilities to support other applied research projects that the college carries out. For this purpose, the college will acquire a programmable logic controller (an economical, reconfigurable acquisition and control system) for use in applications requiring high performance and high reliability. Various specialized sensors and probes attached to this system will enable accurate instrumentation of the equipment and the physical phenomena that will be the subject of applied research in experimental methods.

Cégep de La Pocatière (La Pocatière, Quebec) – Second project: The goal of this project is to develop the expertise of the college's laser laboratory, all of whose activities involve leading-edge processes such as gas laser welding, laser/GMAW hybrid welding, 3D laser cutting, and laser surface treatments. This expertise will enable the college to offer manufacturing companies a wide range of highly specialized services. The acquisition of various pieces of sophisticated equipment will enable the college to work more efficiently and to develop tomorrow's processes more quickly, in co-operation with its industry partners.

Cégep de La Pocatière (La Pocatière, Quebec) – Third project: The goal of this project is to upgrade certain equipment at the Quebec Specialized Centre for Physical Technology (CSTPQ) by acquiring various devices needed to support its partner companies. These devices include an electrostatic discharge system, a fast-transient and shock-wave generator, an EMC emitting and receiving antenna, a three-phase filter, and a three-phase line impedance stabilization network (LISN). This equipment will enable the centre to achieve its development priorities, leverage its areas of expertise, and support companies in the design of electronic products.

Cégep de La Pocatière (La Pocatière, Quebec) – Fourth project: The goal of this project is to create a safe environment for an aging population by means of a virtual caregiver. More specifically, this project will involve developing an environment favourable to the detection and prevention of falls in the elderly, and technologies that can limit the number and seriousness of such falls. The new equipment acquired for this project will enable the medical laboratory team to study certain behaviours of the human body, including gait, the mechanics of falls, and vital signs.

Cégep de La Pocatière (La Pocatière, Quebec) – Fifth project: The goal of this project is to optimize a wide range of internal processes at a large number of partner companies—both within the region and throughout Quebec—to reduce costs in various areas of activity and improve the quality of their products. For this purpose, the college will acquire augmented reality glasses, flat-panel touch screens, touch pads and touch screens. This research and equipment will enable businesses to optimize their employees' work in terms of the efficiency and ergonomics of the workspace.

Cégep de Rimouski (Rimouski, Quebec): The goal of this college's project is to extract value from agriculture and forestry biomass residues. Two approaches are being evaluated for this purpose. One consists in converting lignocellulosic materials for use as a source of green energy, the other for use in green construction materials. The college will acquire leading-edge laboratory equipment that students and researchers can use to carry out various research projects, thus acquiring expertise in the chemical and physical characteristics of lignocellulosic materials.

3) Applied Research and Development Grants

The following institutions have received over $400,000 total in ARD Grants:

Cégep André-Laurendeau (Lasalle, Quebec)

Cégep de Trois-Rivières (Trois-Rivières, Quebec)

Visit NSERC's Web site ( for more information about the CCI Program.

Contact Information

  • Richard Walker
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Christian Paradis
    Minister of Industry

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada