The Canadian aerospace industry generates almost $30 billion for the GDP annually. Here's what you need to know about what's happened in Canadian aerospace in 2017 - and what new opportunities are coming for 2018.
Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) released their Annual Report for 2017 - 2018 today. AIAC is a not-for-profit membership organization that consists of 150 leading Canadian aerospace companies.
We've outlined the key findings of the Annual Report and supplemented it with our own insight and research. Interested in what new programs and initiatives there are to support SMEs or how the aerospace industry is changing? Read on!
For sellers and SME
$100 million has been dedicated to support the scaling and growth of Canadian SMEs by having the federal government act as a first customer. Over 20 federal departments and agencies will be participating.
The Fund allocates repayable and non-repayable funding to Canadians industrial and technology firms. $1.26 billion will been allocated over five years.
BCIP is a new, permanent program that helps Canadian companies move from R&D to the marketplace. It helps companies land their first major sale, sell their innovation (while retaining IP), get their innovation tested more quickly, and gain feedback faster.
$500,000 is available for non-military innovations and up to $1,000,000 for military innovations.
For the industry
Space Advisory Board makes its recommendation
The Space Advisory Board was renewed in April 2017 with the purpose of advancing Canada's space plan.
After consulting with the industry and stakeholders, the Space Advisory Board released a central recommendation in August to designate space as national strategic asset. Doing so will reiterate the importance of space to Canada's economic and social growth and encourage further development of the aerospace sector.
We'll have to wait and see if and how this recommendation will be implemented.
Strong, Secure, Engaged emphasizes aerospace expansion
Canada's new defense policy, "Strong, Secure Engaged" (SSE) was unveiled in July 2017.
Among other things, SSE emphasized the importance of aerospace and related fields of space, radar, and communications. Here are the major highlights:
- The Regular Force will grow by 3,500 (to 71,500) military personnel. This growth will enable critical investments in important areas such as space. (p13)
- The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) will acquire 88 advanced fighter aircraft to enforce Canada’s sovereignty and to meet Canada’s North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) commitments while recapitalizing many of its aircraft fleets such as the CP-140 Aurora anti-submarine warfare and surveillance aircraft. (p13)
- Investments in Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platforms, including next generation surveillance aircraft, remotely piloted systems, and space-based surveillance assets (p38 - 40)
- The Canadian Armed Forces will acquire next generation surveillance aircraft, remotely piloted systems – commonly referred to as “drones” – and space-based surveillance assets to significantly expand its Joint Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance capacity (p15)
- Acquire space capabilities meant to improve situational awareness and targeting, including: replacement of the current RADARSAT system to improve the identification and tracking of threats and improve situational awareness of routine traffic in and through Canadian territory; sensors capable of identifying and tracking debris in space that threatens Canadian and allied space-based systems (surveillance of space); and, space-based systems that will enhance and improve tactical narrow- and wide-band communications globally, including throughout Canada’s Arctic region. (p39)
- While Canada remains fully committed to the peaceful use of space, our assets have become potential targets, with some states developing a range of anti-satellite weapons (ASATs) that could potentially threaten access to the space domain. Some countries already have an ability to temporarily disrupt space-based services, such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) or satellite communications, and a smaller number have the ability – or have stated an interest in the ability – to cause more permanent effects, including the destruction of satellites. Space-related challenges are magnified by the fact that the international legal framework governing outer space continues to evolve in response to rapid developments (p56 - 57)
- Expand Canada’s capacity to meet NORAD commitments by improving aerospace and maritime domain awareness and response and enhancing satellite communications. Canada will also procure an advanced fighter capability and will remain highly interoperable with our American allies (p61)
- Modernization of the North Warning Systems (NWS) - The NWS is a chain of unmanned radar stations within the Arctic that provides aerospace surveillance of Canadian and United States Northern approaches. (p79)
Key Industrial Capabilities released with aerospace top-of-mind
As previous reported by OMX last month, Canada revealed its defense focus on five emerging areas which include remotely piloted systems/autonomous technologies and space systems.
Among the 11 established technologies being focused that were also revealed, there is also aerospace space and components and defence systems integration.
Canada will be using its offset policy to stimulate procurement and investment in these areas.
For over fifty years, the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada has worked with its members to develop what is today the fifth-largest national aerospace industry in the world. By collaborating with industry and with government to develop products, services, programs and policies that enhance Canadian aerospace companies, AIAC helps the industry to invest, innovate, and develop best-in-class capabilities in the civil, defence and space sectors.