Skip to main content

New initiative helps aerospace businesses commercialize their innovations

University teams are improving the management of flight control systems and developing safety-critical software
June 4, 2018

Several companies in the aerospace industry will benefit from Concordia’s research expertise thanks to a new initiative designed to help businesses commercialize their innovations.

The Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec (CRIAQ) recently received $4.3 million dollars in funding from the Government of Quebec to support mini-technology demonstration projects — or TDPs — for the aerospace industry. This is the first instalment of an $8.2-million program.

CRIAQ is a non-profit organization established in 2002 with the financial support of the Quebec government. It aims to increase the competitiveness of the aerospace industry through research collaborations, and enhance the technical and professional skills of student specializing in aerospace training programs.

The consortium includes more than 80 industry partners and 25 academic members.

Concordia professors Kash Khorasani and Amir Youssef are each lending their expertise to two CRIAQ mini-TDP projects led respectively by GlobVision and Mannarino Systems and Software.

“These CRIAQ TDPs address the needs of the aerospace industry,” says Shelley Sitahal, Concordia’s director of Research Partnerships and Innovation.

“The program is designed to complement the federal TDP program which provides support to companies to bring their emerging technologies to market,” she adds.

“This is the inaugural round of funding for the CRIAQ mini-TDP program, so it’s exciting that Concordia is in the mix for not just one, but two projects.”

Khorasani, who holds the Concordia University Research Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering will work with GlobVision and Thales Canada to improve aircraft flight control systems. He and his team will develop and implement new prognosis tools for electrohydraulic actuators, which control the flight control system.

With approximately $1.5 million in funding from CRIAQ, plus contributions from the industrial partners and MITACS, the total value of the project — which includes the participation of members of the LARCASE Laboratory of École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS) led by professor Ruxandra Botez — is close to $3 million.

Youssef, a professor in the Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering (CIISE), is leading a research team of graduate students benchmarking existing cybersecurity systems in the aerospace industry.

His team will help industry partner Mannarino to establish key security requirements and incorporate security aspects in safety-critical aerospace software applications. Youssef and his students will also help Mannarino develop methods to support the development of future security features for safety-critical aerospace software applications.

The total project value, which includes funding from CRIAQ, MITACS plus industrial support, is $2.2 million. A research team from Polytechnique Montréal is also heavily involved, as are experts from NordiaSoft.

Denis Faubert, CEO of CRIAQ, says the mini-TDP projects underscore the importance of partnership innovation.

"CRIAQ is very proud of its mini-TDP program, funded by the Quebec Aerospace Strategy. It is meant to support the innovation efforts of SMEs, a very dynamic and important segment of the aerospace supply chain. The projects led by Mannarino and GlobVision are two excellent examples of what small-TDPs are meant to be.”

Christophe Guy, Concordia’s vice-president of Research and Graduate Studies, says industry collaborations offer a mutually beneficial situation to everyone involved.

“At the institutional level, working with corporate partners brings relevance to academic pursuits and opens access to a variety of partnership funding opportunities,” he adds.

“Meanwhile companies gain access to potentially valuable research results, as well as specialized expertise and infrastructure. Additionally, partner-based research and training opportunities allow for graduate students to apply their knowledge to related industries.”

Learn more about
Concordia’s aerospace initiatives.


Back to top

© Concordia University