OTTAWA—Prime Minister Stephen Harper has added advanced manufacturing as a new priority in an updated national Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) strategy.
The revised strategy includes aerospace as one of seven focus areas within advanced manufacturing that are considered strategically important to Canada.
The move also marked the creation of the Canada First Research Fund, a $1.5-billion fund for post-secondary institutions conducting research in areas that will create long-term economic advantages for Canada.
Funding proposals through the CFRF will be required to align with the revised Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy’s priorities, including advanced manufacturing.
The Canadian aerospace industry dedicates $1.7 billion to R&D each year, more than five times the national manufacturing average. The industry contributed $28 billion to the national GDP in 2013.
“Collaborative research and innovation lie at the heart of our industry’s ability to compete in the global marketplace and continue creating highly-skilled, highly-paid jobs for Canadians,” said Jim Quick, President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC).
“Including aerospace and the advanced manufacturing sector in the Science, Technology & Innovation strategy signals that the government recognizes our industry’s ability to strategically contribute to Canada’s future, and will help to focus research and innovation priorities accordingly.”
The inclusion of advanced manufacturing and aerospace in the ST&I Strategy marks the implementation of another recommendation made by the Honourable David Emerson in his 2012 report to the government on the long-term competitiveness of Canada’s aerospace industry.