The National Research Council of Canada and Red River College join forces to establish a training centre for forming advanced composite materials for aerospace applications 

News release

A new, NRC-developed advanced forming technology will accelerate production and increase the precision in the manufacture of key aerospace components.
A new, NRC-developed advanced forming technology will accelerate production and increase the precision in the manufacture of key aerospace components.

The NRC licenses its advanced forming technology for training and technology transfer

October 22, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Research Council of Canada

In Canada and around the world, composites are playing an increasingly important role in aircraft component production. They can make aircraft stronger, lighter and more fuel efficient, and the aerospace industry is eagerly searching for manufacturing solutions that are safe, reliable, and cost effective. National Research Council of Canada (NRC) researchers have developed a high-precision forming process that makes Canada a world leader in this emerging sector.

The NRC's novel advanced forming process is based on innovative, knowledge-based forming and sensing technology. This new technology will accelerate production, ensure repeatability, and achieve the highest quality standards. The NRC has licensed the technology to Red River College for training and demonstration purposes. The teams from both organizations worked together to establish a training and applied research centre at Red River College's largest Winnipeg campus.

Funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada, the aim of the training centre is to help foster the skills of Canada's highly trained aerospace workforce, and serve as a composite forming training hub for small and medium-sized businesses.

The NRC's composite forming technology offers a significant improvement in the manufacture of commonly used composite airframe components, such as long and slender stringers and airframe structures. This cost-effective approach ultimately yields a substantial reduction in process defects, and lowers capital investment compared with traditional methods. The NRC and Red River College will work together to identify the best fit for the technology within the Canadian and global aerospace industries, and to transfer the advanced forming technology to the private sector. 


"The National Research Council of Canada is proud to join forces with Red River College to strengthen Canada's aerospace industry. The composite forming technology pioneered by a multidisciplinary team of NRC researchers will help Red River College anticipate the needs of the aerospace industry of the future. Complex challenges demand collaborative solutions and, by working together, the NRC and Red River College are helping realize part of the NRC's mission: they're applying leading edge technologies to find creative solutions to the challenges of the future."

— Roger Scott-Douglas, PhD, Acting President, National Research Council Canada 

"RRC has long been at the forefront of innovation in the aerospace and manufacturing sectors, and working with partners like the National Research Council only strengthens what we do and ensures the widest audience possible will benefit from our state-of-the-art facilities and expertise. We're honoured to now be home to advanced composite forming systems developed by the NRC. The collaborative transfer of skills and knowledge from the NRC team and RRC's Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing (TACAM) provides a foundation to commercialize this unique emerging technology. We look forward to this ongoing partnership that will benefit Canada's manufacturing industry for years to come."

— Fred Meier, President and CEO, Red River College 

Quick facts

  • The Canadian aerospace industry is a nationwide and highly skilled industry that contributed over $25 billion in Gross Domestic Product and 213,000 jobs to the Canadian economy in 2018, of which 69% came from manufacturing. 

  • Built in 2004, the NRC's Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies Centre supports industry, particularly the aerospace sector, in developing, demonstrating, and implementing next-generation, cost-effective manufacturing methods. 

  • Red River College (RRC) is Manitoba's largest institute of applied learning, with more than 200 full- and part-time programs. For more than 15 years, RRC's applied research initiative, Research Partnerships & Innovation, has worked with industry to create award-winning results benefiting companies in Canada and around the world. RRC supports innovation in industry through applied research and development, technical services, training and technology diffusion conducted within its Technology Access Centre for Aerospace & Manufacturing (TACAM). 

  • More than 50 aerospace firms have headquarters or major centres of operation in Manitoba, the third-largest aerospace cluster in Canada. Manufacturing is the largest industrial sector in Winnipeg. 

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Media Relations    
National Research Council of Canada

Conor Lloyd
Director, College and Public Relations,
Red River College

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