Canada’s New Government Invests $350 Million to Improve Aircraft Engine Technology & Fuel Efficiency
The Honourable Michael M. Fortier, announced two repayable investments totalling $350 million to develop the next generation of gas turbine engines.
By Brooke Shaw
OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(CCNMatthews – Dec. 13, 2006) – The Honourable Michael M. Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, and Dr. Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament for Oshawa and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, on behalf of the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, today announced two repayable investments totalling $350 million to develop the next generation of gas turbine engines. The funding is part of a $1.5-billion program, undertaken by Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp., to develop lighter, more fuel-efficient aircraft engines, benefiting Canadians through increased productivity, competitiveness and prosperity that flow from Canada's aerospace industry.
"Canada's new government recognizes the world-class ability of our aerospace industry to conduct innovative research and development," said Minister Bernier. "These strategic investments will promote collaboration between the industry, universities and other research institutes."
"Pratt & Whitney Canada has positioned Canada as a centre of excellence in gas turbine engines," said Minister Fortier. "These projects will enhance our reputation and provide economic benefits across the country. Advantage Canada is about strengthening Canada's position in the world."
"These investments are in line with our Advantage Canada objectives," said Dr. Carrie. "We are creating opportunities for a highly skilled work force and targeting new R&D investments in areas where Canada can continue to be a world leader. Advantage Canada lists knowledge advantage as a key priority for our economy, thereby creating the best-educated, most skilled and flexible workforce in the world. By hosting over 200 students every year through co-op programs, Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. is contributing to this knowledge advantage."
The new engines are expected to reduce emissions to levels 60 percent below industry standards, resulting in better combustion and fuel efficiency. Collaboration with university researchers will concentrate on reducing the engines' noise pollution levels. Work will also focus on reducing waste and eliminating the use of toxic products in the manufacturing process.
Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. will undertake two projects to design, develop, test and optimize the new engines.
The Gas Turbine Engine Technology Research Program will receive a repayable investment of $137 million towards a $367.5-million project involving universities to undertake initiatives that will make future engines lighter, more fuel-efficient and more durable and environmentally friendly.
The Pre-Competitive Technology Development Program for Gas Turbine Engine Applications will receive a repayable investment of $213 million towards a $1.2-billion project. One of the primary goals of this project is to substantially reduce the engine development cycle time to a target of 24 months. This later stage R&D activity will test the new technology on actual engine demonstrations in a pre-competitive environment.
Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. works closely with 20 Canadian universities and colleges, hiring a large number of Canada's graduating class of aerospace engineers each year.
This investment is being made through Technology Partnerships Canada, an agency of Industry Canada, using a new model contribution agreement that emphasizes enhanced transparency and accountability.