SME DAY 2017

Opening Remarks

October 25th, 08:35, Shaw Centre, Ottawa

Check Against Delivery

Thank you Tim for that warm welcome and for your leadership of CADSI’s SME Committee. Au nom de l’AICDS et de notre comité de direction, merci à tous les participants à la Journée des PME de 2017.

I see you have a full agenda, so I won’t take too much of your time, but I do want to take a few minutes to update you all on some initiatives we at CADSI have been working on over the past few months to better position our members for business opportunities.

As many of you are well aware, this past June the Government of Canada released its widely anticipated Defence Policy Review, entitled Strong, Secure, Engaged. We consider the document a win for us in the Defence sector. It’s a win for us because fostering an “innovative defence” sector is identified as one of National Defence’s five domestic priorities.

A new program – the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security—or IDEaS program was introduced as a part of the plan to foster an innovative defence sector. You’ll be hearing all about the IDEaS program from Dr. Fournier.

This program will be of particular interest to SMEs who conduct research and development and are looking for feedback through testing and trials by the user community – the Army Navy Air Force. You will gain access to the community to whom you want to sell your products and, if working in a consortium or on a platform with Primes, you can showcase your capabilities in a B2B context. This could help prepare you for future partnerships.

We’re also pleased that some of our suggestions are being considered in the design of IDEaS – quick procurement processes and less administration to name two. Thank you to all of the CADSI members – large and especially small – who provided input during the consultations – your feedback was instrumental.

Because Strong Secure and Engaged commits to fostering the growth of our industry, to make sure that we can measure progress, we are continuing our work with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada or ISED on the survey of the defence sector that they have been conducting with Statistics Canada. The results of that survey will be made available around the time of CANSEC 2018.

Lastly, I’d like to draw your attention to something we are doing to help small businesses from an export perspective. You may have seen that here is an upcoming trade mission to India in November.

India has one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, and we are so pleased to help our members learn more about and experience this region and others. One of the ways in which we are doing this is through our Emerging Defence Markets Portal. We’ve curated a lot of information that was scattered across dozens of websites – contact information for government officials who can help you, market intelligence, export regulations, and more – and we placed it at your fingertips. Why? Because we know that SMEs are often stretched so thin that if we can help you find things quicker, you’ll achieve your goals faster.

While this is not an exhaustive list of our efforts on your behalf, it gives you a sense of some of the big files we are advancing on your behalf. If you want to hear more about these things, I’d encourage you to make sure you “opt-in” to as many of our communications as possible, especially the CADSI Digest and to visit the CADSI staff-hosted table at this afternoon’s B2B.

One last thing while I have you here. We are busily planning CADSI’s annual marquee event, CANSEC, which is set for May 30-31, 2018. Some of you may remember that we showcased you – CADSI members – last year through a visually compelling Innovation Wall that really impressed Minister Bains. He was helped us celebrate the partnerships forged through procurement.

I’m bringing this up because your stories – your innovations – which you contributed to our Made Across Canada campaign were essential in making the whole thing possible. Not only would I encourage you to showcase yourself at CANSEC in general (and since we’re almost 90% sold-out there’s not a lot of time left), but I’d also recommend contributing to Made Across Canada. It’s free advertising for you. Who knows, Minister Bains might read about your company’s contribution to Canada over his morning coffee.

You have a dynamic set of sessions ahead, so I’ll leave it at that.

Thank you again for participating in our SME Day 2017. Je vous souhaite à tous beaucoup de succès.