Canada’s aerospace industry is robust and dynamic, with a long history of innovation and success throughout the world. Home to leading aviation and space companies, Canada is a global market leader in producing regional aircraft, avionics, business jets, commercial helicopters, aircraft engines, flight simulation, landing gear, and space systems and Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Expertise. In addition, leading aerospace companies from around the world choose to perform their manufacturing and research and development activities in Canada.
Canada’s Aerospace Advantages:
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- Proven market leader;
- Cutting-edge space technology;
- A strong R&D infrastructure across Canada;
- A highly skilled, educated and specialized workforce;
- NAFTA and worldwide export markets; and
- Specialised and competitive clusters.
Canadian aerospace, space and defence firms have built successful businesses in Canada for domestic and global markets. Canadian priorities encourage investment in knowledge-based businesses across the industrial spectrum, and a strong focus on innovation.
Canada supports its aerospace, space and defence industries through attractive investment fundamentals; leading-edge knowledge infrastructure; risk-sharing investments in technology development; commitment to investing in skills and research; and new business opportunities.
Canada’s aerospace, defence, space and security (A&D) industries are major contributors to the national economy. In 2008, the aerospace sector alone had sales of $23.6 billion and employed 80 000 Canadians across the country.
A&D industries are also knowledge-intensive, a boon in today’s global knowledge economy. They are Canada’s third largest investor in research and development (R&D), accounting for 11 percent of all industrial R&D. ThroughR&D, A&D industries develop technological breakthroughs such as robotics and new lightweight materials, and remain important first users of enabling technologies- new technologies, like nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing.
By providing repayable contributions to A&D companies, the government helps to ensure that Canadian A&D companies undertake strategic R&D and that Canadians will benefit from these investments.
Supporting R&D in these industries also means Canada can encourage leading international A&D companies to do business here, retaining and increasing foreign investment. At the same time, Canada becomes very attractive to top scientific and engineering talent in cutting-edge A&D industries.
Globally, Canadian A&D companies dominate several markets, including:
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- Simulators (80 percent);
- Landing gears (60 percent); and
- Aircraft environmental systems (60 percent).
Helping to fund strategic R&D projects of A&D companies ensures that additional private sector R&D funds are leveraged. Currently, Canadian private sector investment in R&D lags behind that of other OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.
Key Facts on Canada’s Aerospace Industry
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- The Canadian aerospace industry is composed of more than 400 firms located from Newfoundland to British Columbia. It generates in excess of $23 billion in annual revenues through its global reach.
- Aerospace in Canada is directly responsible for the creation of more than 80,000 valueadded jobs for Canadians from coast-to-coast.
- Aerospace is a direct and significant contributor to Canada’s balance of trade: more than 82 per cent of our output is exported.
- With annual investments of more than $1 billion each year, aerospace is amongst Canada’s largest contributors to Canadian R&D activities.
- The Canadian aerospace industry is ranked 5th amongst its global peers. It is a world leader in market segments such as regional aircraft, flight simulators, small gas engines, robotics and satellite technologies, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul, and landing gear systems.
- Canada’s international aerospace footprint is well diversified. Its partners include the US, Europe and the expanding markets of Asia and South-America.
- Canadian Aerospace R&D partnerships with universities and academia ensure an exceptional innovation flow throughout the nation. These partnerships expose professors and students to the full translational nature of aerospace research: from theory to conceptual design to shop floor practical implementation. Our relentless focus is to conceive and develop in eco-efficient technologies that will position the industry on future aircraft platforms.
Global Aerospace Growth: An Outstanding Opportunity for Canada
Global demand in aircraft is growing at an accelerated pace. Over the next 20 years, this demand will represent a market opportunity of three trillion ($3,000 billion) dollars. Making the right choices now and forging solid partnerships will allow Canada to build on its competitive edge in aerospace. The Canadian aerospace industry is also poised to grow its market share through the optimization of R&D spending and the timely commercialization of technological breakthroughs.
Thanks to outstanding aerospace innovators, solid R&D partnerships with governments, academia and the extraordinary talent of our workers, Canada has traditionally punched above its weight in aerospace and is positioned to do so into the future. Aerospace investments represent a tremendous opportunity for Canada to accelerate its transition and transformation to a knowledge based economy.
Canada’s aerospace Industry has always embraced the fierce forces of globalization and its continued success will ensure long-term economic and social benefits for all Canadians.