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Pratt & Whitney Canada to invest $1-billion in R&D


Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) has announced that it will invest more than $1-billion in research and development (R&D) over the next 4-years in both its Longueuil QC and Mississauga ON facilities, developing next generation high-performance aircraft engines.

The investment includes a $300-million repayable contribution from the Government of Canada under the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI) program. P&WC is a United Technologies Corp. company.

“The Government of Canada’s investment enables P&WC to invest over $1-billion overall to pursue its long-standing legacy of innovation and sustain its engineering and manufacturing Centres of Excellence in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia,” says John Saabas, president, P&WC. “The Government of Canada’s continued commitment to the aerospace industry will help support high-quality job opportunities for the next generation of skilled workers in Canada and allow P&WC to continue to be an innovative leader in the industry.”

“Our government’s top priorities are the economy, and supporting jobs and opportunities for Canadian families through innovation. This investment will support over 6,000 high-quality Canadian jobs and countless others across Canada,” said Minister of Industry James Moore. “We are proud to support the aerospace industry and will continue to create the right economic conditions for Canadian companies.”

“This announcement will support jobs and economic growth for Quebecers. Our government is proud to make smart investments that support high-quality jobs across the country,” adds Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.

Developing Cutting-Edge Technologies P&WC is developing the most advanced propulsion technologies for improved environmental performance, including reduced fuel consumption and weight, lower emissions and less noise. These technologies will be leveraged across the company’s product families for new and existing turbofan, turboprop and turboshaft engines in business, regional and general aviation and helicopter applications. P&WC is also currently investing $275-million over five years in cutting-edge technologies and upgrades to its facilities, including the creation of a world-class Centre of Excellence for intelligent manufacturing in Longueuil. This Centre of Excellence will feature three new intelligent production lines dedicated to manufacturing highly complex key components for the new-generation family of PurePower engines. It is expected to be fully operational in 2015.

“Pratt & Whitney Canada leads the industry in developing the next generation of high-performance and sustainable technologies,” Saabas says. “Our latest R&D programs include cutting-edge materials such as composites and advanced alloys to improve engine weight, a high-efficiency compressor technology to enhance engine performance and reduce fuel consumption, and further improvements to our combustion systems to reduce engine emissions. We are also implementing advanced technologies and intelligent cell concepts to bolster our manufacturing capabilities in Canada. This investment will ensure that we remain technology-ready to support our customers in the years ahead.”

Continued Commitment to R&D

This R&D investment will also strengthen P&WC’s long-standing collaboration with major universities and suppliers across Canada. “Every year, we invest $10 million in projects with close to 20 Canadian universities to develop new engine technologies for the next generation of environmentally-friendly and fuel-efficient aircraft,” states Saabas. “To date, hundreds of students have worked on more than 800 projects in collaboration with P&WC’s engineering team. We are proud to contribute to the development of future engineers and technicians.”

“This important announcement is a testament to the Government of Canada’s pledge to support homegrown R&D through effective industry-university collaboration,” adds Sheldon Levy, president and vice-chancellor, Ryerson University. Added Suzanne Fortier, principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University, “We look forward to continuing to work closely with Pratt & Whitney Canada on a number of projects critical to the growth of Canada’s aerospace sector, including projects in the emerging and innovative field of additive manufacturing.”

P&WC has long been active in promoting collaborative aerospace R&D as a founding member of the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec (CRIAQ) and more recently, the Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC). Through its participation in Quebec aerospace cluster Aéro Montréal, which is chaired by P&WC senior vice-president of sales & marketing Maria Della Posta, P&WC is also working to introduce an equivalent of Quebec’s MACH supplier development initiative as a national program. Moreover, P&WC is currently working with approximately 1,300 Canadian suppliers which in turn helps them develop their own cutting-edge skills and expertise and maintain their own competitiveness.