2nd Aerospace Innovation Forum - Québec's aerospace industry reaffirms the
need to leverage technology innovation

            "To stay competitive, Québec must focus its efforts on innovation
                   and more environmentally friendly aerospace technologies."

      François Caza, Vice President and Chief Engineer, Bombardier Aerospace,
                    and Chairman of Aéro Montréal's Innovation Working Group

MONTREAL, Dec. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Aéro Montréal, the Aerospace Cluster of Metropolitan Montréal, in collaboration with CRIAQ, the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec, today opened the 2nd edition of the Aerospace Innovation Forum in Montréal under the theme Aerospace Clusters: A World of Innovation.

The event, the result of the Québec aerospace industry's determination to maintain its innovation capacity, is bringing together more than 400 representatives and researchers from the Canadian and international aerospace industry.

Coming on the heels of a recent Conference Board of Canada report about the importance of Canada's aerospace industry investing in research and development, Québec's aerospace sector is taking advantage of the event to reaffirm its position as a leader in innovation and to recognize the need to intensify its efforts in the area of research and development (R&D).

"Québec's aerospace sector is a truly world-class model of excellence," said Marc Parent, Chairman of the Board of Aéro Montréal and President and CEO of CAE Inc. "The highly skilled men and women who work in this industry personify this ingenuity that we are known for. To nurture this and fully leverage our ability to meet technology challenges, it is critical to maintain our investments in R&D and continue to innovate."

"Our industry is working relentlessly to develop aerospace technologies of the future and this unique Forum is a tribute to that," said Suzanne M. Benoît, CEO of Aéro Montréal. "But to stay competitive against international competitors, we have to step up our efforts. Members of the cluster are more determined than ever, with the support of our governments, to work together to promote their development and maintain the power of innovation that sets Québec's aerospace sector apart."

François Caza, Vice President and Chief Engineer of Bombardier Aerospace and chair of Aéro Montréal's Innovation Working Group, whose work led to the Aerospace Innovation Forum, listed some of the steps Québec's aerospace industry must take in terms of innovation.

"The competitive landscape is today dominated by protection of the environment and requires the development of new aircraft that more ecological and less energy consuming. Starting right now, our members must position themselves in future aerospace technology programs," explained Mr. Caza.

"To do this, we need to continue to invest in pre-competitive research at the university level, especially in new areas where our industry has pressing needs. Also, we must maintain measures to facilitate industry hiring of engineers with master's degrees and doctorates, especially in small and medium size companies, by supporting university-company collaboration and company internships."

"Finally, it is critical to undertake a structuring initiative designed to incorporate more new concepts developed in universities and research centres into next-generation aircraft. We need to ensure that results of this research are taken to the technology demonstration phase required for selection of these technologies on products," he concluded.

    About Aéro Montréal

Aéro Montréal, Greater Montréal's aerospace cluster, is a think tank that brings together all the major decision makers in the region's aerospace sector, including companies, educational and research institutions, associations and unions.

Aéro Montréal's mission is to mobilize industry players around common goals and focused actions to increase cohesion and optimize competitiveness. By fostering the growth and expansion of Greater Montréal's aerospace cluster, it intends to make this industry an increasingly important source of wealth creation for the Montréal region, Québec and Canada.

SOURCE Aéro Montréal

For further information: For further information: Isabelle Fontaine, NATIONAL Public Relations, (514) 843-2331, Cell: (514) 473-7742; Source: Amélie Hudon, Aéro Montréal

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