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Quebec celebrates it rich aerospace industry

March 16, 2011  By Carey Fredericks

March 16, 2011, Quebec City - Aéro Montréal, Québec's aerospace cluster, which includes all the chief executives of Québec's aerospace sector, visited the national capital today to identify potential partners for the more ecological aircraft catalyst project.

Gilles Labbé, Chairman of Aéro Montréal and President and CEO of
Héroux-Devtek, also appeared before Québec City's Chambre of Commerce
and Industry to highlight the expertise of technology companies in the
region and their potential for becoming links in the global aerospace
industry's supply chain.

"The Québec City region is full of innovative and growing companies. It
has, among others, a world-class capability in the field of
optics/photonics networks through the National Optics Institute (INO)
and Laval University's Center for Optics, Photonics and Lasers (COPL),"
said Mr. Labbé.

"The Chaudière-Appalaches region, in turn, has created Plasturgy Valley,
an initiative that aims to mobilize and bring together companies and
organizations working in the areas of composite materials and plastics.
All these areas of expertise have applications in the aerospace sector."

Following Mr. Labbé's speech, a symposium on the theme "Quebec
technology companies serving the aerospace industry" was organized
jointly with Québec International. It gave Québec City technology
companies a chance to meet with representatives from global giants of
Québec's aerospace industry who are involved in the more ecological
aircraft catalyst project: Bombardier Aerospace, Bell Helicopter Textron
Canada, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Esterline CMC Electronics, Thales
Canada and Héroux-Devtek.


The result of work by Aéro Montréal's Innovation Working Group, the more
ecological aircraft project is a technology demonstration project
financed by industry and the Québec government to test new concepts
related to the development of a greener aircraft.

Suzanne M. Benoît, CEO of Aéro Montréal, emphasized the innovative
nature of the project and its importance for the competitiveness of the
province's aerospace industry.

"By spurring innovation in aerospace technologies that meets the future
needs of major order givers, the Québec industry is enhancing its
capacity to create wealth in a highly competitive global economy," said
Ms. Benoît.

"These significant investments will enable our companies to rise in the
ranks of the global manufacturing industry, improve the positioning of
our industry and increase Québec content in future aircraft
platforms,    she added.

The aerospace sector chief executives present in Québec City also
underlined the extent of the economic impact of this industry which,
although heavily concentrated in the Greater Montreal area, creates
wealth for all Quebecers and helps to showcase Québec internationally.

"The Québec aerospace industry is a major economic activity, providing
high quality and well paying jobs, investing heavily in research and
development, and promoting technological innovation for the benefit of
all Quebecers. The aerospace sector employs some 40,000 workers and
generated sales of $12.4 billion in 2009, 80% from exports. The industry
invests more than $600 million a year in R&D, or 70% of the
Canadian total," concluded Mr. Labbé.

These messages were echoed today in the Québec National Assembly where,
to mark the visit to Québec City of the aerospace executives,
politicians from all political parties unanimously adopted a motion
recognizing the aerospace sector as a symbol of national pride.


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