The first face-to-face event in Montréal in over a year for aerospace industry players

Montréal, October 26, 2021 – Aéro Montréal is today holding the second part of the 6th edition of the Global Aerospace Supply Chain Summit under the theme “Shaping the Future of a More Sustainable Supply Chain.” This event is a prime opportunity for aerospace ecosystem stakeholders from Québec, Canada and Europe to discuss post-pandemic challenges and strategies to ensure a sustainable recovery of the global supply chain.

Aéro Montréal kicked off this event in the presence of Kareen Rispal, Ambassador of France to Canada, Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development, and Michèle Boisvert, Québec’s Delegate General in Paris. The Summit is bringing together 250 participants in-person at the Palais des congrès de Montréal for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. It is also accessible virtually to facilitate the participation of many members of the aerospace industry from around the world.


Major subjects being discussed by company leaders at the Summit today include the decarbonization of the sector’s activities, cybersecurity & the digitalization of processes, collaborative innovation strategies with startups and innovative SMEs, and the search for solutions to counter the severe labour shortage.

“The aerospace sector is already fully committed to accelerating the carbon neutrality of its supply chain, an essential step for the development of tomorrow’s eco-efficient aircraft,” said Suzanne M. Benoît, President of Aéro Montréal. “Québec has all the assets in hand to become the green driver of the global aerospace industry. To achieve this, we must support our SMEs throughout this major industrial transformation.”

During his speech, Minister Fitzgibbon announced $1.23 million in funding to extend Aéro Montréal’s MACH FAB 4.0 initiative until March 31, 2022. This extension will enable nine aerospace SMEs to continue their digital technology implementation projects that were delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We need to speed up the digital shift in all sectors of our economy,” noted Minister Fitzgibbon. “MACH FAB 4.0 will enable SMEs in the aerospace industry to become more competitive, to integrate better into global supply chains, and to increase their presence in export markets. This is exactly what we want to do through the digital transformation of our companies.”

Strategic partnership with Centech

Aéro Montréal and the Québec startup incubator, Centech, took advantage of the Summit to announce the signing of an agreement to support the ecosystem of startups and innovative SMEs and foster sustainable innovation within the aerospace supply chain. “Through this partnership, our two organizations want to pool their complementary expertise to support the commercialization of cutting-edge green technology solutions derived from science and engineering,” explained Ms. Benoît.

“With climate challenges, the influx of promising new technologies, and the significant acceleration of innovation cycles, startups are becoming an essential link in the development of well-established companies,” noted Richard Chénier, Centech’s Director General. “The aerospace industry is a pillar of the Québec economy. Thanks to the collaboration between Centech and Aéro Montréal, this key sector will be better positioned to cover the entire innovation chain and to support its shift towards sustainable air mobility, both in terms of aircraft development and production.”

Development of digital skills

To ensure an effective recovery and to meet future challenges, the aerospace sector needs to count on a qualified workforce. In conjunction with the Summit, Aéro Montréal, with the support of Services Québec, is also offering an overview of training, programs, laboratories and centres of expertise that will support the development of digital skills in the current and future workforce.

“The last year has highlighted the challenges faced by the aerospace sector, notably in terms of recruiting and retaining workers. In the current context, the Global Aerospace Supply Chain Summit is a great opportunity to share information and get ahead, in order to compensate for the workforce availability issues forecast for upcoming years. I’d like to thank Aéro Montréal for organizing this meeting, and for its contribution to the aerospace industry. You are taking the necessary steps to help our businesses remain among the most high-performing in the world.” Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region. 

France, country of honour

For this edition of the Summit, Aéro Montréal has chosen to highlight the deep friendship between Québec and France, notably because of their common history and roots, as well as through their major aerospace companies established on both sides of the Atlantic.

"France and Québec have always been economic allies, especially in the aerospace sector,” said Nadine Girault, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration, and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region. “Today, Québec is a world-class hub, with its cluster that has innovated by relying on a network of high-performance companies, schools and specialized research centres, and by offering a dynamic business environment for companies wanting to set up here. All these factors will continue to be favourable to the realization of strategic partnerships between France and Quebec."

“We are privileged to have the headquarters of Airbus Canada in Québec, whose team is fully dedicated to the success of the A220 aircraft. We are also proud to have strong ties with the Groupement des Industries Françaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales (GIFAS) and many other French companies,” added Ms. Benoît.

This new edition of the Global Aerospace Supply Chain Summit is being supported by its long-time strategic partner, the National Research Council Canada (NRC), as well as Hydro-Québec, Strategic Partner – Environment. It is also being powered by two Lead Partners, Héroux-Devtek and Inno-Centre. The event is also being promoted by several institutional partners such as the Montréal Metropolitan Community, Services Québec and the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie.

About Aéro Montréal

Created in 2006, Aéro Montréal is a strategic think tank that groups all major decision makers in Québec’s aerospace sector, including companies, educational and research institutions, as well as associations and unions.

The activities of Aéro Montréal are made possible thanks to the participation of the governments of Canada and Québec, the Montréal Metropolitan Community, as well as  company members of the cluster.

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For more information:

Léa Guicheteau, Aéro Montréal

Kaven Delarosbil, Aéro Montréal