Industry applauds update of Que. research strategy
July 5, 2010, Montreal - Representatives of Québec's aerospace industry, would like to congratulate the Québec government, and support it as partners, for the visionary commitment it has shown through the update of its Québec Research and Innovation Strategy (QRIS 2010-2013) released on June 28.
This reaffirms the importance of research and innovation as the
foundation for Québec's international competitiveness, for its economic
development, and for long-term job creation.
Government support for Québec's aerospace sector through the QRIS comes
at a critical time. With its new $150 million collaborative program over
four (4) years for the ecological aircraft mobilizing project, Québec
is emulating major framework programs of the European Union and the
United States regarding technology demonstrations. As a result, it is
showing great leadership in supporting a dynamic industry employing over
40,000 people. The government is doing everything possible to help
Québec prosper by building on the significant efforts made in the first
QRIS and by speeding up technology transfer from our universities and
our research centres to companies and, ultimately, facilitating the
international commercialization of our best ideas.
Aerospace is a high-tech sector in which competitive advantage often
hinges on technical excellence and innovation. However, because of
safety imperatives, the development and validation of new technology
concepts require large investments over a long period of time, from 5 to
At the same time, since the lifecycle of aeronautical products ranges
from 20 to 30 years, the technologies implemented today will affect our
environment and our economy for nearly 40 years. Hence the importance
for the industry to distinguish itself now in an increasingly
competitive global context.
The aerospace innovation process essentially consists of three main
phases: the development of concepts through pre-competitive research;
the development of specific technological applications for these
concepts; and the demonstration of these technologies in an environment
representative of the end use. This innovation chain is essential for
the proper implementation and eventual commercialization of competitive
Notably supported by universities and research centres, the
pre-competitive technologies phase allows for the development of
promising concepts for the industry. Renewed government support for this
research, known as basic and tier 1, will support, among others, more
than 10,000 engineers and scientists engaged in research and development
in our sector. An important element of collaboration between the
industry and universities in this context is the Consortium for Research
and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec (CRIAQ), which helps to advance
many joint innovation projects in aeronautics.
The technology development and demonstration phases, undertaken more
specifically by companies, are the most expensive steps. They also carry
the largest proportion of risks. The promising concepts are analyzed,
then applied to prototypes, and subsequently validated in a functional
environment on demonstrators, test beds and even during flight testing.
These validations allow technologies to be brought closer to their
It is at these crucial stages of the innovation chain that various
nations differentiate themselves. This is when valuable technology
transfer takes place towards product commercialization, creating wealth
The new ecological aircraft mobilizing project helps to complete the
Québec aerospace innovation chain and allows for the carrying out of
technology demonstration projects that are strategic for the industry.
In addition, by fostering links among SMEs, equipment manufacturers and
OEMs, it will make the Québec industry more competitive and foster the
integration of Québec content into new aircraft platforms.
The strength of our industry is intimately linked to the ingenuity and
innovativeness of its individual players. Once again, the government's
concrete actions will allow us to differentiate ourselves globally and
consolidate our position as a leader in the aerospace industry. It is
through investment in knowledge and talent that we can be successful
against foreign competitors. It is by innovating that Québec will ensure