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Collaborations in aerospace to take flight through national body

New Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada will create valuable opportunities for Concordia
April 17, 2014

Image courtesy of Bombardier

A new national research and technology network uniting stakeholders from the aerospace industry, universities, colleges and research institutions was launched April 17 at the 7th Consortium of Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec (CRIAQ).

The creation of the Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC) is good news for aerospace research at Concordia. The goal of this joint initiative of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) and CRIAQis to identify strategic aerospace technology areas and facilitate collaborative research and development.

The formation of CARIC grew from recommendations of the Aerospace Review Report mandated by the Government of Canada in 2011. Led by the Honourable David Emerson, this comprehensive review of policies and programs specific to the aerospace sector recommended that Industry Canada co-finance a nationwide initiative to facilitate communication and collaboration among aerospace stakeholders.

The consortium will be financially supported by industry, the federal and provincial governments, universities and research institutions, with an estimated value of collaborative research projects reaching more than $20 million per year.

The network’s model is based upon that of CRIAQ, which is recognized by the industry as an important vehicle for collaborative research in Canada.

As one of the founding members with a seat on the current board of CRIAQ, Concordia has played a key role in its success, with 37 of its researchers participating in the 100 CRIAQ projects funded to date. The creation of this new body provides new opportunities for the university to expand its aerospace activities through key collaborations in this important industry.

“As a leader of university-based aerospace research — most notably through the Concordia Institute of Aerospace Design and Innovation (CIADI) — this is very significant for us,” says Graham Carr, vice-president of Research and Graduate Studies. “This collaboration will help to further develop the skills and proficiencies of aerospace graduate students here at Concordia, and allow us to forge strong research partnerships with industries and universities, both nationally and internationally.”

In addition to more than 30 Concordia researchers investigating engineering-based solutions to aerospace industry challenges, a critical mass of researchers in other university disciplines are engaged in aerospace-related research, ranging from air transportation management to human factors, from a psychological and physiological perspective. 

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