Archived — Minister of Industry Announces $19.6 Million Repayable Investment in London Jet Project

Jim Prentice and Peter Maurer with D-JET aircraft
From left to right: The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry; and Peter Maurer, President of Diamond D-JET Corporation and Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc., with the D-JET aircraft.

London, Ontario, February 16, 2008—The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, announced today a $19.6-million repayable investment in Diamond D-JET Corporation (Diamond) of London, Ontario for the pre-competitive research and development (R&D) of an all-composite, single-engine, five-passenger jet aircraft.

"The Government of Canada, guided by our Science and Technology Strategy, supports Canadian researchers and innovators in developing new ideas and bringing them to the marketplace," said Minister Prentice. "By enabling Diamond to expand its technological capabilities, the D-JET project will build on Canadian strengths and help maintain Canada's place as a world leader in small all-composite aircraft."

The $95.2-million D-JET program will allow Diamond to develop expertise in a new class of aircraft, small business jets, and continue to excel in the development of products for general aviation. Additional benefits of the program include attracting foreign investment to Canada and leveraging private sector investment in R&D, both of which will create significant economic benefits, particularly in the London region.

"This R&D program is critical to helping our company become a major player in the rapid growth of the very light jet market," said Peter Maurer, President of Diamond D-JET Corporation and Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc. "With its single engine and innovative composite construction, the D-JET redefines personal air transportation in terms of affordability and environmental impact."

This project will be funded through the new Strategic Aerospace Defence Initiative (SADI). SADI is managed by the Industrial Technologies Office, a Special Operating Agency of Industry Canada with a mandate to advance leading-edge R&D by Canadian aerospace and defence industries.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Deirdra McCracken
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jim Prentice
Minister of Industry
613-995-9001

Media Relations
Industry Canada
613-943-2502


Backgrounders

Minister of Industry Announces $19.6 Million Repayable Investment in London Jet Project

The Government of Canada is making a repayable investment of $19.6 million in a $95.2-million research and development (R&D) project by Diamond D-JET Corporation (Diamond) of London, Ontario. This investment will provide assistance in the development of a new class of small business jets for the owner-pilot market.

This pre-competitive development program supports the expansion of next-generation aerospace and defence (A&D) products and builds on existing Canadian strength in manufacturing small all-composite aircraft. The application of all-composite technology being demanded by the aviation industry reduces aircraft weight and offers a lighter, stronger, and more fuel-efficient plane. This project has attracted foreign and private sector investment to Canada and created highly skilled jobs for Canadians.

The project focuses on developing four prototypes that will undergo certification and pre-production development before reaching commercial readiness. Optimized for a flight ceiling of 25 000 feet, the D-JET is less demanding of pilots than conventional business jets. This feature, in combination with its lower purchase price and operating costs, makes the aircraft accessible to private operators who typically fly small propeller planes. The D-JET combines modern composite airframe construction with a new-generation fuel-efficient and low-noise turbine engine to create a personal airplane with significantly better performance and lower environmental impact than previous generations of aircraft.

The Diamond Group is the third-largest producer of airplanes in the under-three-ton weight class and has manufacturing facilities in Canada, Austria, China and Germany. The company employs more than 1500 people worldwide, 580 of which are in Canada.

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI), launched in April 2007, supports private sector industrial research and pre-competitive development R&D in Canada's aerospace, defence, security and space industries through repayable project investments.

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI)

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative supports strategic industrial research and pre-competitive development (R&D) projects in the aerospace, defence, space and security (A&D) industries.

Launched on April 2, 2007, this new initiative was developed with three key objectives in mind:

  1. to encourage strategic R&D that will result in innovation and excellence in new products and services;
  2. to enhance the competitiveness of Canadian A&D companies; and
  3. to foster collaboration among research institutes, universities, colleges and the private sector.

By investing in strategic R&D projects, SADI contributes to the development of technologies that focus on next-generation products or services, build on Canadian strengths, and enable Canadian companies to participate in major platforms.

SADI is administered with high standards of transparency and accountability by the Industrial Technologies Office. All project applications undergo extensive evaluation using a clear and rigorous process with published assessment criteria. These criteria include the company's ability to achieve the stated objectives, the project's technology benefits, and the expected social and economic benefits.

All Canadians receive value from SADI's contributions through the technological and economic benefits that result from supported R&D projects. These benefits include spinoffs in diverse sectors of the economy, such as nanotechnology and information technology, as well as the development of collaborative partnerships with universities, colleges and research institutions. Contributions to R&D made through SADI will also contribute to high-quality employment opportunities, strengthen Canada's workforce with talented scientists, engineers and researchers, and leverage private sector investments in R&D.

Canada's A&D industries are recognized around the world for producing leading-edge products and services. Domestically, these industries are important economic drivers in all regions of the country and are collectively significant players in the development of Canada's knowledge-based economy. Among the world leaders, Canada's A&D industries offer competitive and innovative solutions and are backed by a highly skilled workforce.

The Industrial Technologies Office is a Special Operating Agency of Industry Canada, with a mandate to advance leading-edge R&D by Canadian industries.


See also:

Speech: Minister of Industry Announces $19.6 Million Repayable Investment in London Jet Project

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