The Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec (CRIAQ) held its 8th Research Forum in Montreal today, attended by aerospace leaders, researchers affiliated with universities, colleges and research centres, and representatives of international organizations in the industry.
In the lively atmosphere of the Palais des congrès de Montréal, some 700 aerospace stakeholders gathered together to spark conversation around innovation and foster interaction between potential partners — to give birth to new collaborative research and development projects. The event is held during the International Aerospace Week – Montreal, which brings many sector-specific issues to light.
“Innovation is key to the Quebec aerospace industry’s competitiveness, which constitutes 70% of the total spending on research and development in Canada,” said Denis Faubert, President & CEO of CRIAQ. “The Forum offers an opportunity to witness the emergence of promising partnerships and avant-garde project ideas, and strengthen our aerospace industry as a real world economic power,” he added.
CRIAQ is the vehicle that, in Quebec, plays a key role in developing the direction of future aerospace technology. CRIAQ’s Research Forum is an inclusive platform that leverages the fully integrated collaboration of aerospace sectors — leading to an open innovation process that fosters interaction between key industry players, including high-growth companies, active students and seasoned researchers. Since CRIAQ’s last Forum in 2014, more than 20 pre-competitive collaborative research projects have taken off. These innovative projects, which involved at least two universities or colleges and two companies, concern a broad spectrum of advanced topics, including avionics, composites and fabrication and assembly methods.
The 8th Research Forum is also an opportunity — through prospective research workshops — to discuss the unique challenges the aerospace industry will face over the next decade.
A model of excellence on a global scale
CRIAQ’s approach to collaborative research has inspired the world community for 14 years. It has also served as a model for establishing a national collaborative aerospace network, the Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC). CRIAQ and CARIC work, in synergy, interdependently and promote open innovation in aerospace research, enabling stakeholders to set common priorities at the national level. Quebec’s collaborative R&D model represents a significant competitive advantage.
“Innovation is the cornerstone of the Canadian aerospace industry, since 20% of all industry efforts are dedicated to research and development, five times the average of Canada’s manufacturing sector,” said Mr. Faubert. “This expanded research and development culture accelerates advances in technology and competitiveness worldwide.”