Canada invests $49.5 million into helicopter innovation


The Canadian Government is investing CAD$49.5 million into a new helicopter technology consortium led by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada.

The government aim is to support Canada’s growing aerospace innovation market by investing in a consortium of 18 aerospace companies and academic partners. it is hoped that the federal investment will help attract further investors to its aerospace market and create 300 middle-class jobs.

The investment was announced at the Aéro-Montréal’s Aerospace Innovation Forum on Monday.

Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development said: “Aerospace is one of the most innovative industries in Canada. Our government’s investment in this new aerospace consortium will create 300 well-paying research and manufacturing jobs, contribute $178 million to Canada’s GDP and make Canada a global aerospace innovation leader.”

The companies that will benefit from the investment include Pratt & Whitney Canada, CMC Electronics, Esterline Technologies Corporation, as well as a selection of smaller businesses and universities. The consortium itself is investing $125 million into innovation projects such as Bell’s autonomous flight and eVtol programmes.

Cynthia Garneau, president, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada said: “This program will foster the development of new engineering and manufacturing knowledge and technologies by the Bell team in Canada.

“It will instil a new dynamic in the aerospace community and strengthen Canada’s role as an innovation leader in the vertical lift and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) segments. We are welcoming a new era at Bell, a technology company, and are enthusiastic to be doing so with such a passionate group of partners. This program allows new technologies to emerge and offers a wide range of companies of all sizes an unprecedented access to new markets.”

Bell Helicopter Textron Canada opened in Mirabel Quebec in 1986 and has manufactured more than 5,000 helicopters in the country.