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Report finds aerospace leads Canadian manufacturers in innovation


July 15, 2016
By AIAC

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Jul. 15, 2016 – A joint annual report released by the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) believes Canada’s most innovative manufacturing sector is the aerospace industry, leading manufacturers in R&D investment and posting nearly 30 per cent of the sector’s R&D investments in 2015. 

Key findings in the 2015 State of the Canadian Aerospace Industry report include:

• The aerospace industry contributed more than $28B to GDP and 211,000 jobs to the Canadian economy in 2015;
• Canadian aerospace manufacturing was the number one R&D investor across manufacturing industries, was over five times as R&D intensive as the manufacturing sector average and accounted for close to 30 per cent of total manufacturing’s R&D investments;
• Innovation-relevant occupations accounted for over 30 per cent of the aerospace industry’s direct employment, while annual compensation per employee in aerospace manufacturing was 60 per cent above the manufacturing sector average;
• Close to 80 per cent of aerospace manufacturing was exported, and the industry was 55 per cent more export intensive than the manufacturing sector average and twice as trade diverse;
• Close to 55 per cent of aerospace exports were supply chain related, and these grew by 50 per cent between 2010 and 2015; and
• While Canadian-owned aerospace firms accounted for the majority of the industry’s overall activities, Canadian operations of foreign-owned firms contributed to more than more than 40 per cent of the industry’s R&D investments and 39 per cent of exports, marking Canada as a place where global aerospace leaders come to do business with the world.

“This report highlights the importance of the aerospace industry to Canada’s economy innovation ecosystem and manufacturing sector,” said Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development. “This industry’s commitment to continual research and development has allowed it to become a strong global competitor.”

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“Canadian competitiveness and prosperity requires an economy driven by diversity, innovation, and a strong connection to the global marketplace, and Canada’s aerospace industry is well-positioned to lead the way,” added Jim Quick, president and CEO of AIAC. “The State of the Industry Report clearly demonstrates that Canadian aerospace is one of our nation’s strongest manufacturing sectors, driving innovation and exports and attracting high-value investment from aerospace companies around the world. As we look forward to the introduction of the government’s Innovation Agenda later this year, we are confident that Canada’s aerospace industry will continue to lead the way to a more prosperous, innovative Canada.”