Innovation Wall Unveiling


May 31st, 09:45, Ottawa, Ontario

Check Against Delivery

Good morning. It is a pleasure for me to be here on the opening day of CANSEC 2017 to unveil our Innovation Wall. And it is an honour for me to be doing this with our Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, the Honourable Navdeep Bains. Welcome to CANSEC 2017 Minister Bains.

As you will see shortly, the Innovation Wall depicts one hundred impressive years of Canadian defence innovations. Many of these technologies were supported through strategic government-industry partnerships involving Canadian defence companies, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and its precursor organizations and the National Research Council (NRC). I would like to thank DRDC and the NRC for their longstanding support for Canadian defence innovations and for helping CADSI with the Innovation Wall.
While most Canadians are likely not familiar with our industry’s technological innovations, they have nonetheless been critical in supporting the Canadian Armed Forces and allied militaries carry out their roles and responsibilities over the past century. These are some of Canada’s more important innovation stories and achievements.

Ceux qui travaillent dans le milieu de la défense savent bien sûr que notre industrie a été et continue d’être incroyablement innovatrice. Ils savent que l’innovation est un ingrédient essentiel de la stratégie d’affaires pour que leur entreprise réussisse, à une époque où la course à la dernière technologie est plus présente que jamais, et où les évolutions technologiques sont plus rapides qu’auparavant.

One important measure of the innovative nature of the Canadian defence industry is that, according to Statistics Canada, 60 per cent of our sector’s revenue comes from exports. An industry with an export intensity like that, which is selling into often protected foreign markets, is clearly producing leading edge products and services that governments and militaries want to buy. And an industry that pays wages 60 per cent above the manufacturing average, as ours does, demonstrates the productivity and wage gains that come with innovation.

Before I unveil the Innovation Wall and invite Minister Bains to speak, I wanted to compliment him and his government for their commitment to improving Canada’s innovation performance.

The initiatives in Budget 2017, and the reports of the Finance Minister’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth, are important steps in this direction. L’intention du gouvernement d’utiliser ce que le Conseil consultatif en matière de croissance économique appelle « les approvisionnements stratégiques » pour stimuler l’innovation, et je sais que c’est une mesure encouragée par le ministre Bains, est un bon exemple. Si nous souhaitons réellement stimuler l’innovation des entreprises dans notre pays, nous devons renouveler la politique publique pour y arriver. Et c’est là un bon exemple de ce genre de pensée.

Defence acquisitions constitute about one third of total federal procurement spending or about $6 billion per year. Given that our industry is pan Canadian in its reach, has a solid foundation based on several key industrial capabilities, the Canadian Armed Forces are in the midst of a historically large re-capitalization, and the government has several policy tools to drive innovation in the defence sector, it is the obvious place to test the concept of strategic procurement.

Nous nous réjouissons à l’idée de travailler avec le ministre Bains, son personnel et ses représentants, afin de déterminer les possibilités de croissance et d’innovation de la base industrielle canadienne de défense pour aider à réaliser la promesse de croissance axée sur l’innovation grâce aux approvisionnements stratégiques.

So with that I invite Minister Bains, François Cordeau, Acting Vice-President of Engineering (NRC) and Dr. Marc Fortin, Chief Executive Officer of DRDC and Assistant Deputy Minister (Science and Technology) to join me in unveiling our Innovation Wall following which Minister Bains will speak.