Archived — Government of Canada Supports R&D to Improve Manufacturing Technologies for Aerospace and Defence

Delta, British Columbia, December 3, 2010—The Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia–Pacific Gateway, on behalf of the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, today announced a repayable investment of $7.7 million in a $19.2-million project being undertaken by Asco Aerospace Canada Ltd. The project will involve researching and developing innovative manufacturing technologies to produce aircraft bulkheads and specialized metal components. The investment is being made through the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI).

"One of the benefits of the government support is that it will help Asco Aerospace develop innovative techniques for manufacturing aircraft components," said Minister Day. "This SADI investment will enable the company to more fully participate in the significant opportunities of the global supply chains that will define the aerospace and defence sectors in the future."

Asco Aerospace will work on a manufacturing process that is capable of handling large, odd-shaped and complex components built from aluminum, titanium and other hard metals that are difficult to machine. The objective is to reduce production time and costs. The project will be carried out in collaboration with the University of British Columbia.

"By helping us to perfect our manufacturing processes with these more challenging metallic designs, this investment will allow us to find more opportunities in the Joint Strike Fighter program," said Asco Aerospace Canada Inc. Vice-President Kevin Russell.

Canada joined the Joint Strike Fighter program in 1997 in anticipation of the Canadian Forces' need to replace its current fleet of CF-18s.

To date, Canada has invested approximately $168 million in the program. Since 2002, this has led to more than $350 million in contracts with more than 60 Canadian companies, research laboratories and universities.

SADI supports strategic industrial research and pre-competitive development projects in the aerospace, defence, space and security industries. SADI is managed by the Industrial Technologies Office, a special operating agency of Industry Canada with a mandate to advance leading-edge research and development by Canadian industries.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Lynn Meahan
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
Minister of Industry
613-995-9001

Media Relations
Industry Canada
613-943-2502


Backgrounder

Government of Canada Investment in Research and Development to Improve Manufacturing Technologies for Aerospace and Defence

The Government of Canada is making a repayable investment of $7.7 million in a research and development (R&D) project by Asco Aerospace Canada Ltd. The project will work to improve manufacturing processes for specialized metal components used in aircraft. The investment is being made through the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI).

Asco Aerospace's developments will be used in the F-35 Lightning II aircraft, under the international Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. The aircraft requires an increased use of large, odd-shaped, integrally designed components built from aluminum, titanium and other hard metals that are difficult to machine. The R&D project will develop improved techniques to work with hard metal and large aluminum machined components to ensure their correct fit and increase cost-effectiveness.

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI), launched in April 2007, supports strategic industrial research and pre-competitive development projects in the aerospace, defence, space and security industries through repayable investments.

SADI benefits include leveraging private sector investment in R&D, attracting foreign investment to Canada, helping to advance technology transfer and innovation, and developing a highly skilled workforce. 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 industries.

Based in Delta, British Columbia, Asco Aerospace Canada Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Asco Industries of Belgium. Asco Aerospace will be collaborating with the University of British Columbia for the project, providing learning opportunities for students and for research personnel.

In July 2010, the Government of Canada announced its commitment to purchase 65 F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft to replace its aging fleet of CF-18s. Delivery of the new aircraft is expected to start in 2016. The development of the F-35 is the largest cooperative program of its kind since World War II. This United States–led partnership includes Canada, Australia, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and the United Kingdom. As a partner nation, Canada is in a position to secure high-value work on the JSF program.

The Government of Canada's participation in the F-35 program brings significant benefits to Canada. As a global program, it positions Canadian industry at the start of a multi-year, multi-billion dollar program with an international market. Further, the government's long-term investment in this aircraft development program provides Canada's aerospace and defence industries with an unprecedented opportunity to be a part of the F-35 global supply chain, advancing their technologies while bringing jobs and sustained economic benefits to regions across Canada.

For more information about SADI, please visit the Industrial Technologies Office website.

For more information on the Joint Strike Fighter program, please visit the National Defence website.

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