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An official aerospace review mandated by the Government of Canada has garnered support from the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC).
Produced by the David Emerson, the report “Beyond the Horizon: Canada’s Interest and Future in Aerospace” was mandated in February 2012.
“Mr. Emerson recognizes the critical juncture the aerospace and space industry is facing and the urgent need for government, industry, academia and unions to adapt to a rapidly changing and highly competitive global environment,” said David Schellenberg, chairman of the AIAC board of directors. “Early and effective implementation of these policies is critical to achieving the intended results. Canada’s aerospace industry is ready and willing to do its part.”
Emerson’s report proposes fiscally neutral public policy changes designed to boost the industry’s competitiveness and its long-term benefits for Canada.
Among the recommendations, AIAC considers several to have potential positive impacts, such as:
•Making aerospace a priority in Canada’s science and technology strategy to ensure a more cohesive approach to the development and delivery of aerospace programs and policies and help maximize the benefits of private and public investments in aerospace.
•Improving the prioritization of technology investments and creating large-scale technology demonstration capacity to boost Canadian competitiveness and domestic capabilities to meet the growing demand for more efficient aircraft and space-related technologies.
•Streamlining programs including the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI) and transforming it into a sound, risk-sharing instrument to foster Canada’s full aerospace and space research and development potential, in part by helping small aerospace firms access these resources to increase their competitiveness.
•Making aerospace a centerpiece of Canada’s international trade agenda to demonstrate federal commitment to Canada’s international aerospace industry, encourage state-to-state partnerships with emerging aerospace powers and improve Canadian access to foreign markets.
•Enhancing research and development collaboration to optimize the allocation of talent and resources, promote research and development intensity and yield economic benefits for Canada. Supporting supplier capacity development to help small and medium enterprises seize opportunities to participate in the global supply chain.
•Fully leveraging procurement tools such as industrial benefits and in-service-support to bolster industry capabilities through intellectual property and technology transfer.
•Ensuring that we are efficient, diligent and timely in our treatment of export control and certification regimes to make Canada a more responsive global competitor.
•Training students and workers for jobs in sophisticated aerospace manufacturing environments, and increasing promotion of the industry as a career of choice among youth to help build HR capacity and support higher quality Canadian jobs for future generations.
•Establishing clear federal priorities concerning space to enable Canada’s space industry to prioritize its capabilities and better contribute to Canada’s economic prosperity, security and other national interests.
•Stabilizing Canadian Space Agency funding to enable it to better serve Canada’s public and industrial priorities.
“AIAC and its member companies are ready to work with the government to ensure the timely implementation of the Aerospace Review recommendations, for the benefit of all Canadians,” said Schellenberg. “AIAC salutes the Government of Canada and Industry Minister Christian Paradis for mandating the Aerospace Review, and the Hon. David Emerson for bringing his extensive expertise to this thorough review of Canada’s aerospace industry and the measures required to secure its future.”