Government of Canada invests up to $54 million in next-generation aircraft technologies

News Release

Innovations in aerospace design and engineering will create the jobs of tomorrow

October 11, 2016 – Montréal, Quebec – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Canadian companies will develop the next generation of aircraft technologies, while creating the well-paying middle-class jobs of the future, as a result of an investment of up to $54 million by the Government of Canada. The funding is being shared by a consortium of 15 companies and academic institutions from across the country. The consortium is led by Bombardier Inc., a Canadian aerospace and transportation company.

The funding, under the Technology Demonstration Program, was announced today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda aims to make this country a global centre for innovation—one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. This investment exemplifies that vision in action.

The consortium will develop state-of-the-art electric systems and advanced aerodynamic systems that will make aircraft of the future more energy efficient, reliable and quieter. The innovations in aerospace design and engineering that result from this industry-led collaboration will strengthen the skills and knowledge of Canadians working in the aerospace sector. It will also lead to new advanced-manufacturing platforms that position them for the jobs of tomorrow.

The funding will support a critical stage of the research-and-development cycle in an export-driven sector that has an impressive track record of innovations. Canada's aerospace sector is a key contributor to the economy in manufacturing output. It also leads all other Canadian manufacturing industries in the amount of money invested in research and development.


"The Government of Canada is proud of the made-in-Canada innovations that have made our country's aerospace industry a global success. The industry is a leader when it comes to innovation. The innovations in aerospace design and engineering that result from this multi-partner collaboration will lead to next-generation aircraft with improved performance. And Canadians working in the sector will acquire new skills and knowledge that prepare them for the well-paying middle-class jobs of the future."

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"Montréal has a tremendously strong cluster of manufacturers and suppliers, including in the aerospace industry. There are over 190 companies in Quebec responsible for more than half of the aerospace production and employment in Canada. The collaboration announced today, which includes 15 partners, will keep our aerospace industry a world leader in innovation."

– The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for Saint-Laurent

"Bombardier and the other members of Project Horizon across Canada are pleased that their collaborative project was selected by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Developing technology that makes a real difference for the customer takes time and effort and is best accomplished through the collaboration between partners in the industry, research centers and universities. Project Horizon will allow its members to progress and demonstrate advanced technologies and systems for the next generation of aircraft."

– Fassi Kafyeke, Senior director, Strategic technologies and Innovation, Product Development Engineering, Aerospace, Bombardier Inc.

"Thales is very proud to participate in the Canadian government's Technology Demonstration Program which will allow us to develop, here in Canada, innovative flight control products for the aircraft of the future."

– Michel Grenier, Vice President and Managing Director, Aerospace, Thales Canada

"The Horizon Technology Demonstration Program presents a singular opportunity for Quaternion Aerospace, a company on the West Coast, to participate in a novel aircraft development program of national interest. The development of advanced innovative technologies has been the underlying foundation for success in the Canadian aerospace industry. This project aims squarely at a step-change in aircraft performance with respect to flight efficiency and environmental impact, with the later a consideration likely to increasingly dominate aircraft purchase and operational decisions by customers in the global aviation market."

– Afzal Suleman, President and CEO, Quaternion Aerospace Inc.

Quick facts

  • This project focuses on the development of next-generation aircraft technologies, such as state-of-the-art electric systems to replace traditional pneumatic and hydraulic systems. It will also involve replacing conventional mechanical flight controls with electronic interfaces that allow aircraft computers to perform tasks without pilot input.
  • In addition to Bombardier, the companies that make up the consortium are Rolls-Royce, Thales, OPAL-RT, Quaternion Aerospace, FusiA, Liebherr, Axis, and Microturbo (Safran).
  • Knowledge institutions collaborating on the project include the University of Victoria, McGill University, Polytechnique Montréal, University of Toronto, and Ryerson University. As a result of the research and skills training involved in this partnership, students will train for—and invent—the high-value jobs of the future.

Related product

Associated links

Follow Minister Bains on social media.
Twitter: @MinisterISED


Philip Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Search for related information by keyword

Page details

Date modified: