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Aéro Montréal, Québec's aerospace cluster, has received $2.977 million in funding to support the development of the StartAero360° initiative during the launch of the federal strategy for innovation and growth of Québec regions.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Québec Regions (CED), made the announcement November 9 in Gaspé. The initiative aims to support Québec aerospace technology SMEs in the pre-commercialization phase of their innovative products.

The SMEs participating in the initiative will be supported through a structured process, with the aim of collaboratively responding to a business opportunity that requires the development of an industrial proof of concept.

This initiative is intended to:

  • promote and accelerate the adoption of breakthrough innovations on the market;
  • support entrepreneurship and job creation in Canada by enabling SMEs to grow through the commercialization of new products;
  • boost the presence of Canadian industry internationally through the adoption and export of new and innovative niche technologies.

To develop, aerospace SMEs need to increasingly deal with breakthrough technologies, such as digital technologies, metadata, artificial intelligence, and additive manufacturing. Aéro Montréal’s role is to provide SMEs with effective tools, in collaboration with both levels of government, to encourage them to adopt breakthrough technologies.

"Our technology SMEs are still struggling to get past the pre-commercialization phase, which is necessary to ensure their commercial success. The StartAero360° initiative has been developed to give our SMEs the support they need to pre-commercialize their most innovative products," said Suzanne M. Benoît, president of Aéro Montréal.

The StartAero360° initiative aims to support 30 SMEs over three years. The program will have a total budget of $4.385 million, of which $1.4 million will be provided by the private sector.

Created in 2006, Aéro Montréal is a strategic think tank that groups all major decision makers in Québec's aerospace sector, including companies, educational and research institutions, as well as associations and unions.

It is supported by the governments of Québec and Canada, the Montréal Metropolitan Community and company members of the cluster.

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