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April 2015 Issue

Building a Foundation for Innovation

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is pleased to act as a pathfinder and facilitator that helps to connect entrepreneurs and innovators to research, development, and commercialization opportunities. By bringing together key players through our investments in innovation, WD is helping businesses realize stronger futures in Canada's West.

Western Innovation Forum 2015

WD, in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), Mitacs and Canadian Commercial Corporation is hosting the 2nd Western Innovation Forum (WIF) on April 16-17, 2015 in Vancouver, B.C.

WIF 2015 is an industry-oriented conference aimed at connecting Western Canada’s aerospace, marine, defence and security industries to innovation-driven investment, partnership and business opportunities, as well as providing industry with in-depth information on how to best leverage government support programs.

The Forum will serve as a platform for western Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage with domestic and international innovators in business, government, academic, and key economic sectors.

WIF 2015 is another step in strengthening innovation in the West, and one more way in which WD is helping Western Canada tap into its innovative spirit for a growing and prosperous future.

To register, please visit: http://www.wd-deo.gc.ca/eng/18316.asp.

A 'First of its Kind' Facility in Western Canada

Official Opening of the Advanced Satellite Integration Facility March 4, 2015

Official Opening of the Advanced Satellite Integration Facility March 4, 2015

L-R: Minister Glover; Don Boitson, Vice President and General Manager, Magellan Aerospace, Winnipeg; Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International), University of Manitoba; Dr. Jonathan Beddoes, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Manitoba.

In March 2015, the University of Manitoba and Magellan Aerospace unveiled their new Advanced Satellite Integration Facility (ASIF) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which received a $2.4M investment from WD in May 2014. The 6,000 square-feet world-class facility supports research and development, as well as the construction and testing of satellite systems and components. The ASIF will significantly enhance both the capacity and expertise of Manitoba's aerospace industry partners.

WD's investment enabled the purchase and installation of equipment necessary to outfit an ISO Class 8 cleanroom facility (a controlled environment that has a low level of pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles, and chemical vapours) that satisfies the current and future requirements of satellite programs as initiated by the Government of Canada.

Thanks to support from the Government of Canada and industry, the University of Manitoba will significantly advance their space systems engineering program and acquire leading international expertise by establishing an Industrial Research Chair within the school's Faculty of Engineering. The ASIF will provide satellite-based skills development for 300 highly qualified personnel students each year, bringing together a critical mass of industry experience, intellectual capacity, and leading-edge technology.