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Aéro Montréal, Quebec’s aerospace cluster, welcomed the measures unveiled in the just-released report on the Québec Research and Innovation Strategy (QRIS). These measures include $585 million for additional initiatives by 2021-22.
Of this amount, $267.1 million will be allocated for research and innovation initiatives. Another $100 million will be earmarked for the development of the super-cluster in artificial intelligence.
The super-cluster will have five areas of intervention: talent attraction and retention; consolidation of the critical mass of world-class researchers; a favourable business environment; company start-ups and access to venture capital; and social acceptability of artificial intelligence.
“Advances in artificial intelligence make up part of the opportunities that companies need to seize. To ensure their leading position in global markets, our companies must adapt and invest to offer increasingly innovative solutions and products,” said Suzanne M. Benoît, president of Aéro Montréal. “Montreal is already positioned as the epicentre in terms of artificial intelligence. Accordingly, Aéro Montréal, an industry-led think tank, is positioning itself as a key player in the operation of this super cluster to provide our companies with all the support they will need to face these new challenges.”
The aerospace sector generated sales of $14.4 billion in 2016 and is comprised of more than 200 specialized companies. More than 70 per cent of Canadian aerospace research and development (R&D) is performed in the Greater Montreal area.
Finally, with approximately 80 per cent of aerospace production exported from Canada, the industry is Quebec’s biggest industrial exporter and ranks among the leaders in the global market. “Government support is necessary to maintain this leadership and ensure that our innovative companies and future jewels can achieve real growth,” concludes Benoît.