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Harper Government Supports Unmanned Systems Development in Southeast Alberta

March 13, 2013
Medicine Hat, Alberta

The Harper Government is supporting Western Canada's unmanned vehicle systems (UVS) sector through an investment that aims to improve competitiveness and productivity for the aerospace and defence industry.

A federal investment of $227,079 through Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) was announced today by the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

"Our Government recognizes the tremendous potential of Western Canada's unmanned vehicle systems industry to commercialize new applications," said Minister Yelich. "Today's investment will strengthen Medicine Hat College's ability to engage with businesses and expose students to the latest advanced manufacturing technologies."

The investment will enable Medicine Hat College to purchase three-dimensional rapid prototyping and scanning equipment. Unmanned systems are unpiloted, remotely controlled vehicles that can be equipped to perform a variety of tasks. Besides military applications, there is a diverse range of commercial and public safety applications, including security/police surveillance and mapping.

This initiative will benefit small- and medium-sized businesses across numerous sectors by facilitating business expansion through improved product design, development and commercialization. It will also help respond to the needs of industry by providing opportunities for students to learn the critical skills to excel in the workplace.

"The college is acquiring three-dimensional rapid prototyping and scanning equipment, technology that will benefit students in several of our programs. We are grateful for the government support and industry partnerships that are at the core of this project," said Len Vandervaart, Medicine Hat College Vice-President Academic.

Since 2006, the Harper Government, through WD, has invested in job-creating small- and medium-sized businesses, aerospace, marine and defence industries, and supported innovative entrepreneurs in pursuing emerging markets. By continuing to promote new economic opportunities WD is helping to create jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity.

For additional information, contact:

Jerra Kosick
Office of the Minister
Western Economic Diversification
Telephone: 613-954-8097
Email: jerra.kosick@wd-deo.gc.ca

Walter Garrison
Manager, Innovation and Scholarship
Medicine Hat College
Telephone: 403-502-8996
Email: WGarrison@mhc.ab.ca

WD Toll-Free Number:1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
WD Website: www.wd-deo.gc.ca.
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