Aéro Montréal Annual General Meeting - The Aerospace Cluster of Metropolitan
Montréal reaffirms its position as a leader in innovation and pledges to
intensify its R&D efforts

MONTREAL, April 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Aéro Montréal, the Montréal Aerospace Cluster, held its Annual General Meeting today at the Faculty Club of McGill University in the presence of Clément Gignac, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, and top leaders of Québec's aerospace sector.

Marc Parent, Chairman of Aéro Montréal and President and CEO of CAE Inc., and Suzanne M. Benoît, CEO of Aéro Montréal, reported that the cluster had positive results for the year 2009.

"The year was of course marked by a global economic recession and brought its own set of challenges for our local aerospace industry," said Mr. Parent. "However, the industry demonstrated a resilience and determination that enabled it to navigate through difficult times."

Throughout the year, the Aerospace Cluster of Metropolitan Montréal endeavoured to maintain a strong and credible presence in the community and in the public arena. It worked to develop the next generation aerospace workforce and was also active in enhancing the global competitiveness and efficiency of Québec's supply chain.

Aéro Montréal also sought to establish an environment conducive to continued investment in innovation as well as for the identification of, and collaboration in, technology demonstration projects. This effort will strengthen its position as an innovation hub and allow it to face the challenges of tomorrow.

"A world-recognized model of excellence, Québec's aerospace sector represents a source of national pride and is a driver of wealth for our society," said Ms. Benoît. "Our highly skilled workforce personifies the ingenuity that our industry is known for. It is crucial that we nurture and leverage this competitive advantage by increasing our investments in R&D."

As part of this determination to maintain its innovation capacity, Aéro Montréal held its 2nd Aerospace Innovation Forum in December 2009.

Organized in conjunction with the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec (CRIAQ), the Aerospace Innovation Forum 2009 brought together over 400 company representatives and seasoned researchers from the Canadian and international aerospace sector who participated in a full program of activities.

Under the theme "Aerospace clusters: a world of innovation," the forum showcased the best practices developed by various international clusters to foster innovation, identify the main strategic priorities regarding technology innovations for the next-generation of aircraft, and explore collaboration opportunities among the clusters.

François Caza, Chair of Aéro Montréal's Innovation Working Group and Vice President and Chief Engineer, Bombardier Aerospace, took advantage of the cluster's annual general meeting to release a White Paper of the Forum outlining the key action items recommended to support aerospace innovation in the medium and long terms.

"To remain competitive, we must now facilitate the deployment of technology demonstration project initiatives undertaken by the industry and supported by Aéro Montréal, and provide concrete support for the efforts of cluster members in the area of sustainable development," said Mr. Caza.

"Moreover, it will be essential to develop and implement, in line with best global practices, a program to enhance the innovation capabilities of SMEs who are members of the cluster, as well as collaboration mechanisms among contractors and subcontracting SMEs to ensure they become not only suppliers but also world-class innovators."

"The Forum was intended primarily to facilitate networking, to move us forward, and to explore avenues for local and international collaboration. It sought to better position our aerospace industry in a highly competitive global environment where innovation is a clear competitive advantage for our long-term competitiveness. The Forum certainly met its goal," 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 Québec'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: Amélie Hudon, Senior Communications Advisor, Aéro Montréal, (514) 987-9334, Cell.: (514) 262-8417, amelie.hudon@aeroMontréal.ca

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