This text is part of the special Aeronautics booklet
Research and development plays a vital role in helping the aerospace industry achieve its sustainability goals and accelerate technology transitions. With the publication of his Roadmap 2035the Quebec Aerospace Research and Innovation Consortium (CRIAQ) and its industrial and academic partners are banking on a collaborative approach to rethink the skies of tomorrow.
The Quebec Aerospace Research and Innovation Consortium (CRIAQ), founded in 2002, acts as a catalyst for innovation by supporting a collaborative research and development approach that brings together companies, universities and research centers.
“A genuine call to all within the aerospace research and innovation ecosystem and beyond, the Roadmap 2035 of CRIAQ aims to contribute to the response that we collectively have to provide to these important challenges facing humanity,” we can read at the beginning of the document entitled Roadmap 2035. Accelerating transitions for resilient and sustainable air mobility.
“For 20 years, the consortium has brought together industry and research leaders. We have accompanied the industry in all the technological waves”, specifies Alain Aubertin, President and CEO of CRIAQ. And the next era, the one characterized by digital and carbon neutrality, will be no exception.
It is at the end of significant research, analysis and consultation work that three vectors were targeted by the CRIAQ in order to guide the work of the industry between now and 2035: sustainable aerospace, air mobility of future and digital aviation systems. On a time line and in three axes, the Roadmap 2035 precisely details the needs of the aerospace ecosystem to maintain and strengthen Québec’s leadership in this area.
From the industry’s point of view, reducing aircraft emissions is part of its DNA: “We are constantly improving the efficiency of our engines. It’s like second nature to us,” says Jean Thomassin, senior director of new products and service introduction at Pratt & Whitney. The CEO of CRIAQ agrees: “Fuels, propellants, weight of components, for decades, aerospace has been reducing its environmental footprint. »
And if the Quebec government is aiming for carbon neutrality in 2050, CRIAQ has preferred to develop a more engaging roadmap. “When you want to structure actions, it may seem far away. We said to ourselves that 2050 is the big goal, but to mobilize the ecosystem now, we are setting an intermediate target in 2035. The race is on,” enthuses Alain Aubertin.
Students, experts, investors
“We need everyone. All good ideas, more than ever. We are in a window where there are a lot of new technologies. Who are those who are capable, with their history of engineering and know-how, of investing, certifying and industrializing this science? These are the big groups. THE start-up have brilliant ideas and work closely with large groups on niche technologies and will have an influence on new systems […] Added to this is the leadership and creativity in university circles, which have invested in the sector for decades,” calculates Mr. Aubertin.
Christian Moreau, professor at the Canada Research Chair in surface engineering and thermal spraying at Concordia University, sees in the Roadmap 2035 interesting avenues for projects to be built: “We look at what concerns us among the needs set out by CRIAQ. This document tells us where the industry wants to go, and how to prepare for it. It also determines which areas are the most promising. Yes, we want to do science and development, but we also want to align with the needs of industry so that the work we do is of interest. The roadmap is therefore very useful to us. »
An opportunity for the next generation
Climate change combined with a range of new accessible and upcoming technologies create a window of opportunity never before seen. “If, in Quebec, we don’t dive, our companies will lose competitiveness on an international scale. The moment is unique in engineering, science and technology. There is a sense of urgency to achieve carbon neutrality,” warns Christian Moreau. The stars aligned outline a more than promising future for a creative generation eager for challenges who wish to contribute to this collective effort for resilient and sustainable air mobility.
“What is special in Quebec and in Canada is our ability to go from the idea to the final product. We have all the resources for each of the stages leading to its completion, including maintenance, explains Jean Thomassin. We must take advantage of this ecosystem and this passion that sets us apart and continue to stimulate [la recherche et le développement] with investments in partnership with governments. »
The aerospace industry in Quebec is in very good financial health, believes Alain Aubertin: “If we look around the world, leading countries like the United States, France and Germany have aerospace industries that are very supported by their governments. Competition is fierce […] We must all work together to support this inspiring industry with extraordinary ambitions that translate into benefits for society. »
This content was produced by the Special Publications team of the Duty, relating to marketing. The writing of the Duty did not take part.