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January 2014 Issue

Supporting Western Businesses through IRBs

Photo courtesy Seaspan
Photo courtesy Seaspan

Representing more than 2,000 companies, 70,000 employees and $12.6 billion in annual revenues, Western Canada’s defence-related sectors are important for Canada’s continued economic success. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) remains committed to securing new opportunities in the West so that these companies can continue to thrive.

With IRB obligations expected to rise to $49 billion in 2027, WD is leveraging major investments in military equipment through the Government of Canada’s Industrial Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy to strengthen small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

WD plays a key role in helping western SMEs take advantage of IRBs by acting as a business facilitator, promoting western Canadian companies and their capabilities to domestic and international audiences, and connecting SMEs with global companies.

Since 2006, WD has supported a range of projects and initiatives to maximize the economic benefits of IRBs to Western Canadians. Specifically, WD has increased Western Canada’s presence at key international tradeshows, led supplier development tours that connect SMEs with prime contractors, and held IRB-hosted “Bootcamps” that help SMEs navigate the IRB Policy process. WD also led the development of Western Canada’s Shipbuilding Action Plan and hosted symposiums to promote business-to-business opportunities for western Canadian SMEs related to the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

Stay tuned for further IRB networking opportunities coming up in 2014.

Connecting Western Canadian Businesses with International Opportunities

Minister Rempel speaks at the Official Opening of the Canada Pavilion at DSEi 2013.
Minister Rempel speaks at the Official Opening of the Canada Pavilion at DSEi 2013.

Western Canadian aerospace and defence industries are vibrant, competitive and growing sectors that employ 27,000 people, generate over $4.5 billion in annual revenues and contribute more than $2.5 billion to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product. Through strategic investments in projects and initiatives, WD takes advantage of the region’s strengths by helping companies grow and take advantage of international opportunities in these sectors.

In September 2013, WD announced an investment of $618,000 for the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) to increase the international exposure and market reach of western Canadian companies. With this funding, CADSI will coordinate a western Canadian defence and security industry presence at key international defence and security trade shows.

The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification announced support for this project at the official opening of the Western Canadian Booth at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEi) 2013's Canada Pavilion. Thanks in large part to WD funding, Canada had one of the largest country pavilions (9th of 40 countries) at the world’s largest defence show. The booth – created as part of WD’s project with CADSI – helped raise the profile of Western Canada at DSEi within a cohesive Canadian brand and facilitated new connections between western SMEs, international companies, and potential foreign government customers.

WD’s project with CADSI builds on similar initiatives to strengthen Western Canada’s thriving aerospace, defence and marine industries. In May 2013, WD announced a two-year project with the Aerospace Industries Association Canada (AIAC) to help the western Canadian aerospace industry access global supply chains and increase international SME competitiveness. Through this project, AIAC is undertaking seven activities to support western SMEs, including the coordination of Western Canada’s presence at key trade shows and international trade missions.

Moving into 2014, AIAC will lead R&D workshops and related supplier development and supply chain development activities. As part of this project, AIAC will also host the upcoming Western Partnership Days in February 2014, which will connect western aerospace companies with elected officials and key government decision-makers. In addition, the Association is also facilitating the presence of western Canadian aerospace companies at the Aerospace & Defence Supplier Summit in Seattle in March 2014.

By working closely with industry partners, WD is helping western Canadian SMEs access new opportunities and become even more competitive on the global stage.

Upcoming Aerospace, Defence and Marine Trade Shows and Events

Date Trade Show and Event Location
April 7 – 9, 2014 Sea-Air-Space Expo 2014 Fort Washington, Maryland
May 28 – 29, 2014 CANSEC 2014 Ottawa, Ontario
June 14 – 20, 2014 EUROSATORY Paris, France
July 2014 Alberta Defence Industries Symposium (WestDef) Calgary, Alberta
July 14 – 20, 2014 Farnborough International Airshow 2014 Farnborough, United Kingdom
August 6 – 7, 2014 Abbotsford Aerospace, Defence & Securities Expo 2014 Abbotsford, British Columbia
September 3 – 5, 2014 DefSec Halifax, Nova Scotia
October 13 – 15, 2014 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Exposition Washington, DC
November 4 – 7, 2014 Unmanned Systems Montreal, Quebec
November 18 – 19, 2014 Canadian Aerospace Summit Ottawa, Ontario