Helicopters Magazine

CAE embarks on $1B Project Digital Intelligence

August 9, 2018  By Helicopters Staff

CAE and government partners unveiled plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years to innovate aviation training platforms. This includes primary funding for CAE’s new Project Digital Intelligence initiative, described by the company as a digital transformation project to develop next-generation training solutions for aviation, defence and security and healthcare.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Québec Premier Philippe Couillard join CAE employees and CEO Marc Parent to celebrate a $1 billion investment plan framed around Project Digital Intelligence. (Photo: CAE)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Québec Premier Philippe Couillard joined CAE executives in Montréal yesterday afternoon to announce the investment plan, which includes partnership funding of $150 million from the Government of Canada and $50 million from the Government of Québec over five years. CAE notes this is one of the most-significant investments in innovation in the aviation training industry globally.

The total $1 billion project is designed for CAE to continue to play a key role in making air travel safer, defence forces mission ready, and helping medical personnel save lives. CAE explains other benefits will include reducing aviation’s environmental footprint and addressing the worldwide demand for aircrews.

“By seizing new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, or augmented reality, as well as many others, and applying them to the science of learning, we will revolutionize the training experience of pilots, aircrews and healthcare professionals, as well as improve safety,” said Marc Parent, president and CEO of CAE.

In addition to the digital technologies and strategies mentioned by Parent, CAE explains Project Digital Intelligence will also leverage cloud-computing, cybersecurity and virtual reality tools. The project includes three major activity areas: Advanced digital technology development, digital transformation of the training and user experience, as well as CAE innovation and collaboration facilities.


“Today’s announcement is about creating high-skilled jobs in Canada today, while making sure Canada’s next generation of pilots, engineers, doctors and nurses have access to some of the most advanced simulation tools and training programs in the world,” said Trudeau. “With this funding, CAE will continue to raise the bar for training standards, from the cockpit to the operating room, and help drive the success of Canada’s aerospace industry.”

CAE plans to carry out Project Digital Intelligence in Canada, utilizing its R&D laboratories, as well as its test and integration facilities. As part of the project, CAE will develop an innovation campus in its Montréal site by transforming its workspaces, laboratories and processes to allow for greater innovation and collaboration.

Throughout Project Digital Intelligence, CAE will co-develop technology solutions with small- and medium-sized companies from across Canada. It plans to qualify more than 150 new innovative suppliers across the country. CAE will also work with over 50 post-secondary institutions and research centres.

The project is expected to create and maintain thousands of highly skilled jobs at CAE in Canada and in CAE’s Canadian-based supply chain. CAE employs approximately 4,000 people in 18 locations across Canada and more than 5,000 in the rest of the world.

“CAE has today chosen to invest in the talent of Quebeckers to help it ensure its continuation as a leader in its sector,” said Couillard. “We have turned Québec into the best place to invest and prosper by creating a climate of confidence for businesspeople. We have made the know-how of Quebeckers into our greatest asset. “


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