A group of 25 Québec-based company and research center representatives participated in the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI)’s second Canada-Ohio Aerospace Summit in Cleveland February 24-27. The Québec Government Office in Chicago, in collaboration with Québec’s Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology – Department of International Collaborations and Export Québec, coordinated Québec’s presence at the event. Aéro Montréal and the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec (CRIAQ) both assisted with the recruitment of Québec companies and research participants. The Consulate General of Canada in Detroit co-organized the summit with the OAI.
As part of the summit, which attracted more than 125 participants, the Québec representatives had a number of meetings and exchanges about priority areas in aerospace including NextGen, green aviation, drones and unmanned air vehicles, global supply chains and composite and new materials.
The Québec representatives attended talks by Julie Payette, Québec’s scientific delegate in the United States, and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, in addition to visiting the NASA Glenn Research Center. The final part of the mission took place in Dayton, where the Québec representatives met with researchers from the University of Dayton Research Institute (2nd in the country for aerospace research grants) and met with representatives of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
The mission was a success on many levels - participants discovered a top-notch business partner and numerous follow-ups are already in the works. The aerospace industry employs more than 125,000 people in Ohio, which is due to the presence of NASA and the U.S. Air Force and world class companies such as GE Aviation and Ellison Surface Technologies (both of which have investments in Québec), NetJets (with whom Bombardier signed one of the most significant contracts in the company’s history in 2012) and Parker Hannifin. Ohio is also a leading supplier of Airbus and Boeing in the United States.
Ohio is an important partner for Québec as they share an economic space in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region. This region has a population of over 100 million and a GDP of more than $5 trillion, making it the fourth most important economy in the world. During his address, Québec’s Representative in Chicago Eric Marquis highlighted that a Québec-Ohio aerospace partnership centered on applied research and common expertise would lead to increased prosperity and global competitiveness for the aerospace industry in Québec and in Ohio in addition to serving as a model for other economic collaborations (infrastructure, public markets, etc.) within the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region.