Program Highlights 2014–2015
Canada's aerospace and defence (A&D) industries, consisting of firms specializing in aerospace, defence, space and security technologies, are recognized around the world for producing leading edge products and services. Domestically, the industries are important economic drivers in all regions of the country and collectively, are a significant player in the development of Canada's knowledge-based economy.
Canada's aerospace manufacturing ranked fifth among OECD countries in terms of GDP (2011).Footnote 1 With some 700 companies of all sizes located across Canada, the aerospace sector contributed more than $29B to the economy in GDP, generated $27.7B in direct revenues and supported more than 180,000 jobs, with 76,000 as direct employment in 2014.
In terms of the share of direct GDP, about 73 percent of the Canadian aerospace industry's activity is dedicated to manufacturing while Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) service related activities makes up the rest. Both manufacturing and MRO sectors are expanding rapidly and have grown to 29 percent and 37 percent respectively over the last 10 years (2004-2014). Canada's MRO sector generates more than $7.1 billion in annual revenues and employs nearly 29,000 highly skilled workers.Footnote 2
The Canadian aerospace industry is national. Central Canada accounts for most of the manufacturing industry. Western Canada plays a dominant role in the MRO sector and Atlantic Canada has been the fastest growing region in MRO over the past five years.
Canada is a global leader in key niche segments. It leads the world in civil flight simulation and ranks third in civil engine production. It is second in business and regional aircraft production, and third in overall civil aircraft production. Moreover, Canada's civil aircraft production growth is forecasted to outpace the global market for the 2014–2021 period (22 percent for Canada versus 11 percent for the global civil aircraft production).Footnote 3
Nearly 80 percent of Canada's aerospace products and technology are exported to highly diversified markets: 62 percent to the USA, 23 percent to Europe, 8 percent to Asia and 7 percent to Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South America. While traditional partners such as the USA and Europe continue to dominate current exporting trends, Canadian companies are increasingly diversifying their global presence with the emergence of new markets in the Asian, African and Latin American regions.Footnote 4
Canada's aerospace industry is also strongly connected to the international supply chain. Over 60 percent of its exports are supply chain oriented, and those exports are becoming increasingly diversified both in terms of destination and product category. While the USA is the key aerospace supply chain export market for Canada, exports to the Asia Pacific region account for close to 20 percent of the overall growth in the value of exports in the last 10 years.Footnote 5
Canada's aerospace manufacturing sector boasts 5 times the research and development (R&D) intensity of Canada's total manufacturing average. Nearly 20 percent of aerospace manufacturing activity is dedicated to R&D, representing a $1.8B investment in 2014. A vibrant R&D culture allows Canada to compete in new markets and industries, and helps Canadian businesses offer new or improved products, processes and services.
The 2013 report by the Canadian Council of Academies, The State of Industrial R&D in Canada, identified aerospace products and parts manufacturing as one of Canada's industrial R&D strengths.Footnote 6 Canadian companies have to continue to invest aggressively in R&D to remain competitive and on the leading edge of new innovations to foster the growth needed to remain competitive over the long term. R&D benefits individual Canadians too, through economic development, employment opportunities, and the potential environmental and safety benefits of new or improved technologies (for example: better fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, and enhanced emergency communications capabilities).
As part of the federal government's commitment to research and innovation, the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI) was launched on April 2, 2007. SADI provides financial support to advance strategic industrial research and pre-competitive development R&D projects in the A&D industries.
SADI is delivered by the Industrial Technologies Office (ITO), a Special Operating Agency of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.Footnote 7
This report highlights developments in 2014–15.
2. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's Strategic Outcomes and SADI
Innovation, Science and Economic Development
3 Strategic Outcomes
Industrial Technologies Office
Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's strategic outcomes determine how its programs and resources are aligned and contribute to its mandate. Under the strategic outcome: advancements in science and technology, knowledge, and innovation strengthen the Canadian economy, the Department delivers programs that invest in science and technology to generate knowledge and equip Canadians with the skills and training they need to compete and prosper in the global knowledge-based economy. These investments help ensure that discoveries and breakthroughs happen in Canada and Canadians realize the social and economic benefits that result.
SADI directly supports the Department's strategic outcome; advancements in science and technology, knowledge, and innovation strengthen the Canadian economy. It contributes to Canada's innovation performance by supporting and stimulating scientific research, development and innovation in Canada, leverages public funds and other investments, encourages strategic partnerships and collaboration among companies and research institutions and provides financial assistance to encourage firms to take strategic R&D risks. These commitments are key components of the Department's mission, which is to foster a growing, competitive, knowledge-based Canadian economy.
By making repayable contributions in strategic industrial and pre-competitive research and development projects, SADI helps create a supportive environment in which Canadian companies can develop advanced products, services, processes and technologies. These efforts benefit not only the company conducting the R&D, but also other companies throughout the A&D supply chain and the Canadian economy as a whole, through technology transfer and other spill-over benefits.
At the same time, by nurturing private sector R&D at home, SADI helps Canadian companies of all sizes remain competitive in the global economy.
3. SADI Overview
SADI provides repayable contributions to support strategic R&D among Canadian based A&D industries. By sharing in the risks and rewards of research and development, SADI supports innovation by Canadian A&D companies. The program also encourages private sector investment in R&D by increasing the amount of capital available for eligible projects.
SADI's three objectives
- encourage strategic R&D that will result in innovation and excellence in new or improved products, services, and/or processes;
- enhance the competitiveness of Canadian A&D companies; and
- foster collaboration between research institutes, universities, colleges and the private sector.
- Applicants are for-profit corporations incorporated under Canadian law.
- Projects comprise R&D that takes place in Canada.
- At least one percent of total eligible project costs are allocated to collaboration with post-secondary institutions in Canada.
- Projects comprise industrial research or pre-competitive development.
- Projects include strategic R&D activities that support the development of next-generation A&D products, services and/or processes, build on Canadian strengths in A&D technology development, enable Canadian companies to participate in major platforms and supply chains, and/or assist the A&D industries in achieving Canada's international obligations.
- SADI funding is essential to the location, scope and/or timing of the proposed project.
Project Approval Process
Submission of the Application: SADI applications are accepted throughout the year using an on-line application form. ITO staff provide guidance to potential applicants. There are no submission deadlines, nor contribution minimum/maximum amounts. Once the on-line application form is complete, it becomes the applicant's project proposal.
Eligibility and Completeness Screening: ITO screens each proposal to ensure that the project meets the eligibility requirements and that the proposal contains adequate information upon which to start a due diligence review.
Due Diligence Review: ITO evaluates the company's capability to achieve the economic and social benefits that it expects will result from the R&D activities, through an assessment of financial resources, management expertise, the business plan, technical feasibility, etc.
Project Approval: Final project approval rests with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Funding requests for more than $10 million require Treasury Board approval. Funding requests for more than $20 million require Cabinet and Treasury Board approvals. Once a project receives approval, a contribution agreement is signed by the recipient and the Crown outlining the legally binding obligations and responsibilities of both parties and the conditions under which payments will be made.
The SADI program provides repayable contributions covering up to 40 percent of total eligible project costs. Repayments are unconditional or based on the recipient's gross business revenue, begin two years after the completion of the R&D, and are typically repaid over a 15-year period. The maximum amount repayable is based on risk as calculated by ITO during the due diligence review.
SADI also supports projects under the Defence Development Sharing Agreement (DDSA) with the United States Department of Defense and the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. SADI supports up to 40 percent of eligible project costs. The nominal amount (100 percent) of the contribution is payable over 15 years for DDSA and over 20 years for JSF projects.
Site visits, progress reports, annual financial statements and annual benefit reports allow ITO to monitor the progress of each project, with the degree of frequency varying, depending on the project's risk rating and size.
4. Financial Framework
SADI's program funding comes from appropriations made available through the estimates process, and an authority to access repayments collected from SADI and the program that preceded it, Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC), which ended in 2006. The budget for 2014–15 was $191 million.
As of March 31, 2015, a total of $1.53 billion in authorized assistance had been approved under SADI, of which $863 millionFootnote 8 had been disbursed against eligible claims.
ITO's operating expenses for the management of SADI and TPC were $5.4 million in 2014–15. Operating expenses cover salaries, audits, site visits, outreach and other administrative program costs.
|Fiscal Year||ITO Operating Expenses Table note *||SADI Annual Contribution Disbursements Table note **||TPC Annual Contribution Disbursements Table note **|
5. SADI Project Portfolio
As of March 31, 2015 the SADI portfolio was comprised of 37 projects (with 29 recipients) and a combined authorized assistance of $1.53 billion. The authorized assistance ranged from $276,000 to $300 million per project. Active SADI projects are either in the R&D phase or in the repayment phase. The R&D phase generally takes place over a 5 year period. Funds are typically repayable over 15 years and begin one to two years after the end of the R&D phase. In 2014–15, 49 percent of the SADI projects were in the R&D phase and 38 percent were in the repayment phase.
|Status||# of Projects||Authorized Assistance ($)||Disbursements ($)||Repayments ($)|
|Research and Development Phase||18||811,661,318||166,929,240||N/A (projects are in R&D Phase)|
|Repayment Phase Table note *||14||668,608,464||665,683,454||8,628,057|
|Inactive Table note **||5||51,348,191||30,026,060||10,384,677|
|Total||37||1,531,617,973Table note ***||862,638,754||19,012,734|
SADI provides contributions to companies of all sizes
SADI is accessible to Canadian incorporated companies of all sizes, located in Canada, that perform R&D in the country.
Of the 37 SADI projects:
- small companies with less than 100 employees account for 16 projects and 3.9 percent of the authorized assistance;
- medium-sized companies with 100-500 employees account for 11 projects and 9.3 percent of the authorized assistance; and
- large companies with more than 500 employees account for 10 projects and 87 percent of the authorized assistance.
SADI supports the aerospace, space, defence, and security sectors
SADI is available to the A&D sector, which includes companies specializing in aerospace, defence, space and security technologies.
Of the 37 SADI projects:
- 17 projects supported the aerospace sector accounting for 83.5 percent of the authorized assistance;
- 13 projects supported the defence sector accounting for 14 percent of the authorized assistance;
- 3 projects supported the space sector accounting for 2 percent of the authorized assistance; and
- 4 projects supported the security sector accounting for less than 0.5 percent of the authorized assistance.
|Company||Project Description||Authorized AssistanceTable note *||Phase|
|1||Diamond D-Jet Corporation||Single-engine, five-passenger jet aircraft||$19,600,000||Inactive|
|2||Integran Technologies Inc.||Nanotechnology enabled tooling||$4,596,000||Repayment|
|3||Magellan Aerospace Limited||Structural components for the F-35||$43,391,600||R&D|
|4||Héroux Devtek Inc.||Advanced landing gear technology||$26,964,430||Repayment|
|5||Norsat International Inc.||Microwave, wireless & portable satellite technologies||$5,975,200||Repayment|
|6||CMC Electronics Inc.||Integrated cockpit & communications system||$52,287,784||Repayment|
|7||EMS Technologies Canada Ltd.||Next generation mobile satellite communications||$8,718,634||Repayment|
|8||SkyWave Mobile Communications Inc.||Fleet management, shipping security||$3,127,200||Inactive|
|9||CAE Inc.||Enhanced simulation technology||$250,000,000||Repayment|
|10||Sputtek Inc.||Advanced protective coating technologies||$360,285||Inactive|
|11||AXYS Technologies Inc.||Unifying data from monitoring & surveillance sources||$1,836,900||Repayment|
|12||PCI Geomatics||Earth observation information extraction||$7,665,000||R&D|
|13||BelAir Networks Inc.||Radio technology with advanced security||$9,690,706||Inactive|
|14||Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd.||Acoustic instrumentation for underwater security||$4,968,000||R&D|
|15||Integran Technologies Inc.||Cadmium replacement coatings||$276,284||Repayment|
|16||Integran Technologies Inc.||Hard chrome alternative||$807,399||Repayment|
|17||2154331 Canada Inc.||Flight simulation||$18,570,000||Inactive|
|18||D-TA Systems Inc.||Advanced sensor processing||$1,790,140||Repayment|
|19||ASCO Aerospace Canada Ltd.||Structural components for the F-35||$7,688,288||R&D|
|20||Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.||Gas turbine engine applications||$300,000,000||Repayment|
|21||Thales Canada Inc.||Fly-By-Wire flight control system||$12,988,800||Repayment|
|22||FLYHT Aerospace Solutions Ltd.||Automated flight information reporting system||$1,967,507||Repayment|
|23||Ultra Electronics Canada Inc.||Tactical high capacity radio||$32,447,400||R&D|
|24||Integran Technologies Inc.||Nanostructured alloys as an alternative to copper beryllium||$399,386||Repayment|
|25||Engineering Services Inc. (ESI)||Intelligent security robot||$778,800||R&D|
|26||GasTOPS Ltd.||Oil systems diagnostics||$1,275,000||R&D|
|28||Héroux Devtek Inc.||Advanced landing gear technology||$48,957,693||R&D|
|29||Norsat International Inc.||Improvements to satellite terminals, microwave components & radio frequency antennas||$13,270,265||R&D|
|30||AXYS Technologies Inc.||Port waterside application & data||$2,000,000||R&D|
|31||Dominis Engineering Ltd.||Naval propulsion impellers & high skew monoblock propellers||$544,500||R&D|
|32||Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems Inc.||Advanced underwater sensing systems||$8,231,222||R&D|
|33||CAE Inc.||Project Innovate||$250,000,000||R&D|
|34||Avcorp Industries Inc.||Advanced metal-bond manufacturing capability development||$4,431,208||R&D|
|35||KDM Analytics Inc.||Automation of the identification of cybersecurity flaws||$1,500,042||R&D|
|36||Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.||Advanced aerospace engine technologies and processes||$87,851,852||R&D|
|37||L3-Wescam||Surveillance and targeting systems||$75,011,600||R&D|
6. SADI Results
SADI is managed with integrity, transparency, and accountability in a manner that is sensitive to risks and designed and delivered to address government priorities in achieving results for Canadians. SADI's governance framework includes a Performance Measurement Strategy (PM Strategy) to provide the Department with a plan to continuously monitor and assess program results, collect information to make informed decisions, take appropriate, timely action and support evaluations of the program. SADI's PM Strategy identifies performance indicators for each of the program's three objectives: innovation, competitiveness and collaboration. Information on these three objectives is collected annually from project recipients through the Annual Project Benefits Reports (APBRs).
This section reports on the overall progress of recipients in meeting program objectives, based on the 2014–15 reporting portfolio.Footnote 9 Approximately half of the funded SADI projects are in the R&D phase and are making good progress in achieving the activities outlined in their Statement of Work, as defined within each contribution agreement and summarized under Annex A (Project description).
As at March 31, 2015, 30 projects out of the SADI reporting portfolio have resulted in the development of new or improved products, services, processes and/or other technologies, with the following breakdown:
- 7 projects by large companies (representing $734.6 million in authorized assistance);
- 10 projects by medium-sized companies (representing $103.7 million in authorized assistance); and
- 13 projects by small companies (representing $44.8 million in authorized assistance).
This result demonstrates that the majority of companies have been successful to date in significantly advancing their research and development work, irrespective of their company size.
In some cases, the entire project was not completed, but an element of it was completed and efforts had begun to commercialize or put into use the new technology.
Strategies for protecting the technological developments enabled by SADI projects differ from company to company. Formal intellectual property protection, such as patenting, was used by about a third of funding recipients while most companies relied on trade secrecy to protect the outcomes of their SADI research projects. Formal intellectual property protection is an indicator of innovation, however, the absence of formal intellectual property protection does not denote an absence of innovation. The reasons for the type of intellectual property protection used by companies to protect their inventions are based on their individual business strategy and vary considerably.
As of March 31, 2015, $863 million of approved funding has been disbursed against eligible claims, leveraging over $1.6 billion from other sources to accelerate innovation in Canada, or $1.87 per SADI dollar disbursed (against a program target of $1.82).
As of March 31, 2015, 20 projects out of the SADI reporting portfolio have resulted in the successful commercialization of new and improved products, services, processes and/or other technologies:
- 5 projects by large companies (representing $642.2 million in authorized assistance);
- 8 projects by medium-sized companies (representing $94.2 million in authorized assistance); and
- 7 projects by small companies (representing $31.3 million in authorized assistance).
Details of the project results are described in Annex A. Companies are progressing well in their early days of exploring new market opportunities. They are beginning to generate economic and broader benefits for Canada.
An important indicator of competitiveness is the ability of a Canadian subsidiary of a multinational corporation to maintain or establish a research and development or production mandateFootnote 10 in Canada. When this occurs it demonstrates that the research and development work related to the SADI project has in part enabled the subsidiary to maintain or improve its leadership in its area of expertise.
Seven SADI recipient companies are subsidiaries of multinational corporations. SADI funding contributed to these seven recipients being able to maintain their current R&D or production mandate in Canada. Further, 29 percent of these subsidiaries reported being able to establish a new research and development mandate and 14 percent were able to establish a production mandate. In most cases, if a subsidiary obtained the research and development mandate, it also obtained the production mandate for the resulting product, service, process or technology.
Most recipient companies also reported other outcomes, as a result of their SADI project(s), that had a positive impact on their ability to compete. Companies reported an average of five positive competitiveness outcomes per project. The top five reported outcomes were: the ability to invest in training and skills development (79 percent); the ability to penetrate new markets or sectors (70 percent); the ability to invest in machinery and equipment and information and communications technologies (55 percent); an increase in the number of customers (49 percent); and, an increase in the number of suppliers (49 percent).
When companies undertake collaborative R&D with universities and colleges, the benefits extend beyond the goals of the specific project, resulting in a stronger alignment of research interests, training of the next-generation of researchers and engineers, acceleration of innovation, improved access to research infrastructure, and increased student employment. The target over the R&D phase of each project is to have all recipients engage in meaningful collaboration. By March 31, 2015, 30 projects out of the SADI reporting portfolio had engaged in collaborations with various universities, colleges and affiliated research institutes:
- 7 projects by large companies (representing $735.6 million in authorized assistance);
- 10 projects by medium-sized companies (representing $118.9 million in authorized assistance); and
- 13 projects by small companies (representing $46.3 million in authorized assistance).
Additionally, 24 percent of these projects financially supported research chairs and 33 percent supported research laboratories.
Academic collaboration also often occurs in the form of student internships and recruitment, thus helping to prepare and train the R&D workforce of tomorrow. Companies reported the following results:
- 79 percent of project recipients reported hiring students temporarily as part of their SADI projects (for the duration, or part of the duration, of the project).
- 49 percent of project recipients reported hiring students on a permanent basis as employees of the company.
A higher proportion of small companies, as compared to medium-sized and large companies, hired students on a permanent basis as employees of their company.
To date, 10 projects that have completed the R&D phase have reported continuing with the collaborative relationships established during the SADI project. This demonstrates that the partnerships have a sustainable quality and that companies are steadfast in their commitment to engage the research community and others beyond the SADI project.
Environmental and Societal Benefits to Canada
SADI also contributes to the achievement of broader environmental and social benefits for Canadians.
SADI is a formal implementation strategy within the Government of Canada's 2013–2016 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.Footnote 11 Although the environment and sustainable development are not explicit objectives of SADI, a long term outcome of the program is to contribute to broader environmental benefits for Canadians. Projects supported under SADI often lead to new energy efficiencies and positive environmental benefits as new A&D technologies are developed.
As of March 31, 2015, the SADI reporting portfolio identified the following environmental benefits:
- 13 projects attained a reduction in material usage (39 percent);
- 11 projects achieved energy efficiency (33 percent);
- 15 projects reached production efficiency (46 percent); and
- 6 projects managed to conserve natural resources (18 percent).
SADI project recipients also reported broader social benefits with improved technologies ensuring better safety and security (for example: enhanced emergency communications capabilities and mobile robots for public security):
- 11 projects contributed to better safety (33 percent);
- 8 projects contributed to improving national security (24 percent).
7. New SADI Agreements
KDM Analytics Inc.
The government approved a repayable contribution of $1.5 million in December 2014 to KDM Analytics, a leading cyber-security assurance company based in Ottawa. The company specializes in cyber security solutions and the protection of computer infrastructures. KDM Analytics' solutions are designed to address the complexity of cyber threats by analyzing attack options, including multi-stage attacks, assessing vulnerabilities and facilitating security mitigation tactics. The funding will enable the company to provide innovative protection to critical cyber infrastructures and resources.
The full press release can be found at: http://www.kdmanalytics.com/kdma/news.html
Pratt and Whitney Canada Corp
In December 2014, the government approved a repayable contribution of $300 million to Pratt & Whitney CanadaFootnote 12. This contribution aims to support the production of the next-generation of airplane engines that will power lighter and greener airplanes. More than 65 Canadian suppliers will contribute to this work.
The full press release can be found at: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=tp&crtr.page=1&nid=912759&crtr.tp1D=1&_ga=1.43260518.217355265.1418051250
In March 2015, the government approved a repayable contribution of $75 million to L3-WESCAM, Canada's largest manufacturing defence company for advanced airborne imaging and sensors. This contribution will support the company's R&D of new high-tech air, land and sea surveillance cameras and sensors that are essential to Canada's defence, security, and search and rescue operations.
The full press release can be found at: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=tp&crtr.page=2&nid=953809&crtr.tp1D=1&_ga=1.266290442.468080467.1420463316
8. Service Standards
ITO is committed to continual improvement in its service delivery standards. These standards are established in order to provide predictable and timely services to clients. ITO staff work with clients to ensure that information requirements and processes are well understood so that these objectives can be met.
|Application Assistance Response Time
||100%||100%||100%||89%||89%Table note *|
|Claims Processing Time
||93%||100%||89%||100%||97% of completed claims were released for payment within 45 days|
|Application Processing Time
||1 out of 3 projects was approved within 6 months||1 out of 1 project was approved within 6 months||1 out of 3 projects was approved within 6 months||3 out of 4 projects were approved within 6 months||100% - 1 out of 1 project under $10 million was approved within 6 months|
|Application Processing Time
Small Enterprises (SEs)
|n/a||n/a||100% - One of one project submitted was approved within 4 months|
|Amendment Processing Time
||n/a||n/a||90%||43%||100% of amendments were processed within 6 months|
We aim to respond to all requests for information from the public within one business day. This applies to requests received via phone or email (contact information is available on ITO's website). In 2014–15, we achieved this target 89 percent of the time.
Our target is to process claims within 45 days, 90 percent of the time. In 2014–15, 92 claims were submitted and 97 percent of them were processed within the 45 day period.
We have established a rigorous due diligence process to ensure an appropriate review of applications. We strive to complete the processing of applications under $10 million within the 6 month service standard. As for small enterprises with projects under $2 million, the service standard is to process an application within 4 months. Out of the four projects approved in 2014–15, 2 were under $10 million, of which one was approved within 6 months and the other, within 4 months.
In 2014–15, ITO processed 100 percent of all amendments to existing contribution agreements within the 6 month service standard.
ITO, in consultation with industry stakeholders, will continue to refine its service standards as required. An upcoming internal audit of the program will contribute to the enhancement of these standards.
Service standards results are published on ITO's website at
SADI is fulfilling its key objectives: encouraging innovation through research and development excellence, enhancing the competitiveness of Canadian companies, and fostering collaboration between the private sector, research institutions and universities.
Although many SADI projects are currently in the research and development phase, significant progress is already being made toward achieving benefits to Canada.
Business priorities for 2015–16 include continued efforts to increase SADI program awareness and investments, and a continued commitment to service excellence. We are also looking forward to strengthening and establishing collaborations with other partners, whether at the provincial/territorial level, or with the private sector. A stronger partnership will enable us to do more outreach and create opportunities for increased financial leverage, as well as tapping into operational capacities of other organizations that have needed expertise, influence, or resources.
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