MONTRÉAL, March 23, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Aéro Montréal, Québec's aerospace cluster, welcomes a series of measures presented in the budget tabled yesterday by federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau. The federal government's commitment to support innovation and create super clusters will benefit Québec's entire aerospace supply chain and foster its dynamism and contributions to the country's economy.
Super clusters - Growth engine
"The government's announcement to support a small number of innovation super clusters led by companies is good news for SMEs in Québec's aerospace industry," says Mrs. Suzanne M. Benoît, President of Aéro Montréal. "This measure is in line with the orientations of Aéro Montréal. Our industry is directly contributing to enhancing Canada's global competitiveness through its highly innovative companies. In 2016, more than 70% of Canadian aerospace R&D took place in the Montréal area."
The federal government's recognition of the importance of super clusters is crucial to the development of our industry. By underscoring these superclusters' contributions to job creation and the dynamism of the economy, and by focusing on highly innovative industries such as advanced manufacturing, digital technologies and transport, among others, the government gives us cause for optimism about the support it will provide to our industry.
Innovation and digitalization - Top priorities
The key themes of innovation, the digital shift and skills development, highlighted in the 2017 budget, are at the heart of the challenges faced by our companies every day, especially our SMEs. "We are very pleased to see how closely this budget reflects the concerns of our companies," says Mrs. Benoît, noting that the development of skills related to Industry 4.0 will support SMEs in their transition to the factory of the future.
In this regard, various programs have been brought together in a new strategic innovation fund. This measure will simplify access to various programs for our aerospace SMEs. We also welcome the creation of a new agency that will support the acquisition and measurement of skills in Canada. The availability of skilled talent is a central concern for our industry and represents an asset that enables us to stand out from the global competition.
Supply Chain - Key to development
The 2017 budget also allows us to reaffirm the importance of a flagship Aéro Montréal program designed to increase the competitiveness of our suppliers and support our SMEs in their digital shift: the MACH FAB 4.0 Initiative. "This program, supported by the Government of Québec, is fundamental to Aéro Montréal's raison d'être because it helps strengthen our supply chain on a regional and global scale. The 2017 federal budget also highlights the government's commitment to SMEs and the importance it attaches to their development," says Mrs. Benoît.
Clean technologies - The challenge of tomorrow
Finally, it should be noted that the 2017 budget provides some $200 million worth of support for clean technologies. This is a challenge that our cluster companies are taking on by participating in the SA2GE greener aircraft mobilization project. This sector generates growth all over the world and enables our SMEs to ensure their presence on the international stage in terms of the development of new, more environmentally respectful aircraft.
About Aéro Montréal
Created in 2006, Aéro Montréal is a strategic think tank that groups all major decision makers in Québec's aerospace sector, including companies, educational and research institutions, as well as associations and unions. Aéro Montréal's mission is to engage Québec's aerospace cluster with a view to increasing its growth and expansion on the global scene. Its vision is to become a benchmark in global aerospace. To this end, it champions the following values: excellence, engagement, collaboration, versatility and innovation.
SOURCE Aéro Montréal
For further information: Gwenaël Brisé, Manager, Communications and Media Relations, Aéro Montréal, Office: 514 987-9395, [email protected]