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Designation of an aerospace innovation zone by the Québec government kicks off the 2024 International Aerospace Innovation Forum

Aéro Montréal has kicked off the 9th edition of its International Aerospace Innovation Forum, the largest gathering of international aerospace decision-makers in Canada, with the announcement of a designated aerospace innovation zone, Espace Aéro, for which Aéro Montréal will be responsible for implementation and governance. François Legault, Premier of Québec, François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry of Canada, Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Energy of Québec, and Mélanie Lussier, President of Aéro Montréal, made the announcement this morning at the Palais des congrès de Montréal at the opening of the event.

ESPACE AÉRO: Stimulating collaborative innovation to remain a world leader in aerospace

The successful completion of this project is the result of four years of coordinated work by Aéro Montréal, its industrial and institutional partners, and the cities of Montréal (borough of Saint-Laurent), Longueuil and Mirabel to create an essential innovation ecosystem that will attract world-class investors and collaborators. In an increasingly competitive international environment, Espace Aéro will strengthen the attractiveness of the industry and the strategic international positioning of Québec’s aerospace sector. It will also propel Québec’s aerospace cluster to the next level of collaborative innovation and accelerate the transition to sustainable and intelligent air mobility, while attracting talent and companies from home and abroad.

To achieve its goal, Espace Aéro will draw on the three historical and complementary hubs of Montréal (borough of Saint-Laurent), Mirabel and Longueuil, and focus its efforts on two key themes: decarbonization and autonomy. By combining the strengths of these three hubs, Espace Aéro will stimulate collaboration among all players, from small and medium-sized companies to major international players, as well as educational institutions and the research community. As the industry undergoes a major transformation in response to climate change, Espace Aéro will act as a catalyst for sustainable innovation in the ecosystem.

Espace Aéro is the result of the combined efforts of the 18 members of a steering committee. Aéro Montréal would therefore like to thank each of them for their collaboration, without which this major step forward would not have been possible: Bombardier; CAE; Pratt & Whitney Canada; CMC Electronics; Bell Textron Canada Ltd.; Aéroports de Montréal; Polytechnique Montréal; Concordia University; McGill University; National Research Council Canada (NRC); Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec (CRIAQ); École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS); École nationale d’aérotechnique (ÉNA); City of Montréal; Excellence Industrielle St-Laurent; City of Longueuil; Développement économique Longueuil; City of Mirabel; and Centre d’excellence sur les drones.

Aéro Montréal will receive a maximum of $3 million over the next three years to ensure the implementation and governance of this Québec innovation zone (ZIQ).

“After the Quantum Zone in Sherbrooke, the Digital Technologies Zone in Bromont and the Energy Transition Valley for batteries in Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec, I am very proud to announce the designation of a fourth innovation zone, in the aerospace field. Concentrated in the Greater Montreal area, Espace Aéro brings together companies, universities and research centers to carry out training, cutting-edge research and applied testing. I’m particularly proud that Quebec is now the only place in the world where the three aviation giants, Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier, have a direct presence. It says a lot about the quality of our business environment, but also about the talent of the Quebec workforce and the quality of the research being done here. The new Espace Aéro innovation zone will strengthen Quebec’s expertise in aerospace.”

François Legault, Premier of Québec

“Our government continues to play a vital role in the growth of Quebec’s aerospace industry. Today’s announcement is a concrete example of our aerospace economic benefits policy at work. With this important investment, Boeing is helping to strengthen Canada’s position as a global aerospace supply chain leader, driving innovation and creating high-quality jobs for Canadian workers.”

– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“With Bombardier, Airbus and now Boeing, Quebec is the only place in the world where you can find the world’s three largest aircraft manufacturers. The new Espace Aéro zone will strengthen Quebec’s aerospace industry by attracting major investments, stimulating innovation and training new talent to meet the aviation challenges of tomorrow.”

Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region

“The creation of Espace Aéro is the culmination of many years of collaborative efforts to accelerate the sustainable transformation of our industry. By focusing on decarbonization and autonomy, Espace Aéro will serve as a showcase for Québec: a powerful lever for attracting tomorrow’s talent and local and international recognition.”

Mélanie Lussier, President and CEO of Aéro Montréal.

Launch of the 9th International Aerospace Innovation Forum

The International Aerospace Innovation Forum, which kicked off this morning, is a must-attend event for the local and international aerospace industry. On May 21 and 22, more than 140 speakers will share their vision and expertise with decision-makers, professionals, media and students from around the world in conferences grouped around the key themes of sustainable transformation, innovation and emerging technologies. The United Kingdom is the featured country at this 2024 edition, with the theme: “Collaboration: The Innovation Accelerator.” The event is an opportunity to reflect on the future of the industry and showcase the major technological advances of tomorrow.   

A real source of pride for Québec, the aerospace industry has flourished here and made Montréal the third largest aerospace centre in the world. Today, the Montréal cluster employs more than 41,700 highly skilled workers, generates annual sales of more than $20.9 billion, and is Québec’s largest export sector.

“The 9th edition of the International Aerospace Innovation Forum is all about collaboration, and we couldn’t have kicked it off in a better way than with the designation of the Espace Aéro aerospace innovation zone.  By bringing together Canada’s aerospace sector and creating major collaborative projects such as Espace Aéro, we are ensuring that we create the levers of attraction that will allow us to draw the attention of the 38,000 talents we will need over the next 10 years to further strengthen Québec’s leading export sector.” Mélanie Lussier, President and CEO of Aéro Montréal.

This event was made possible by the following major partners:

  • Bombardier – Major Partner of the event;
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada – Associate Partner;
  • CAE, National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Initiative for sustainable aviation technology (INSAT) and Investissement Québec – Innovation Partners.

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