Two levels of the Canadian government are coming together along with a leading tech company to invest over a billion dollars in training and simulation technology.
Canada’s federal government and Quebec’s provincial government, along with CAE (formerly Canadian Aviation Electronics), have announced a combined $1 billion investment over the next five years “in innovation to stay at the forefront of the training industry.” Among the main objectives of this new investment is to fund Project Digital Intelligence, a digital CAE transformation initiative that will look into cutting-edge ways to deliver aviation, defence & security and healthcare training. The three pillars of activity for this project are advanced digital technology development, the digital transformation of the training and user experience, and CAE innovation and collaboration facilities.
The federal government will invest $150 million through the Strategic Innovation Fund ($140 million in “unconditionally repayable” funds as well as a $10 million investment), while the Quebec government will invest $42.5 million as a loan and $5 million as a grant. The rest of the funding—over $800 million—will come from CAE. In total, over 400 new jobs in Montreal will be created through these new funding announcements.
“Today’s announcement is about creating high-skilled jobs in Canada today, while making sure Canada’s next generation of pilots, engineers, doctors, and nurses have access to some of the most advanced simulation tools and training programs in the world,” Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau said at an event in Montreal announcing the funding.
“With this funding, CAE will continue to raise the bar for training standards, from the cockpit to the operating room, and help drive the success of Canada’s aerospace industry.”
CAE is a global leader when it comes to training for both the space and healthcare industry, and has offices in 18 locations and over 4,000 employees in Canada. This new announcement will also entail CAE working with and engaging over 50 post-secondary institutions and research centres across the country.
“As a powerhouse of innovation, CAE has been at the forefront of the training industry, including digital technology, for years. This strategic investment will take our company to the next level,” said Marc Parent, CEO and president of CAE. “By seizing new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, or augmented reality, as well as many others, and applying them to the science of learning, we will revolutionize the training experience of pilots, aircrews and healthcare professionals, as well as improve safety.”
The first step for CAE will involve developing an innovation campus at the company’s Montreal location through the transformation of current workspaces and laboratories.