Canadian aerospace remains national innovation leader: report

Aerospace Industries Association of Canada Press Release | June 22, 2018

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 13 seconds.

On June 21, 2018, the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) and the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) released their joint 2018 report on the state of Canada’s aerospace industry.

The report’s findings clearly show that aerospace remains one of Canada’s most important manufacturing sectors, creating high-quality jobs, technologies and global trading relationships that are essential to our nation’s future prosperity and growth.

The report’s key findings include:

  • In 2017, aerospace contributed nearly $25 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) and almost 190,000 jobs to the Canadian economy. While the five-year trend continues to show overall positive growth, the last two years have indicated a slight decline;
  • Aerospace’s share of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workers is three times the national manufacturing average. Women make up nearly a quarter of all STEM-related aerospace jobs in Canada;
  • Canadian aerospace is the national leader in innovation and R&D investment, spending $1.7 billion in 2017. The aerospace industry accounts for 24 per cent of total manufacturing sector research and development (R&D) investments (although it makes up only five per cent of Canada’s total manufacturing GDP) and is seven times more R&D intensive than the manufacturing sector average;
    • Canadian aerospace maintains its position as a global leader in several niche segments:
    • First in civil flight simulation;
    • Third in civil aircraft simulation;
    • Third in civil engine production; and
  • The global supply chain continues to increase in importance to Canada’s aerospace exports, growing nearly 50 per cent in the past 15 years.

“This report is a prime example of a productive partnership between our government and industry,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

“I was pleased to see the strong growth in the number of women working in STEM positions in the sector. This is the type of inclusive growth we are committed to support.”

“We thank the government for their continued partnership in the creation of this year’s report,” said Jim Quick, AIAC’s president and CEO. “Today’s report reinforces the influential role Canadian aerospace firms play in strengthening Canada’s economy, workforce and innovation achievements. It also highlights the fact that free and open trade, strong economic policies, and a commitment to investing in mature innovative sectors are essential to the industry’s continued growth.”

“We also seeing some decline in the industry,” said Quick. “More work needs to be done to ensure that Canada remains a place which attracts and retains investment in this sector, which is so essential to innovation and the future of our economy. We will continue to work with our members and the government to ensure that our long history of creating prosperity and opportunity for Canadians across the country continues for years to come.”

For more information, read the report here.

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