Vanguard Magazine

Feb/Mar 2013

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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S Science & Technology Stefan Dubowski is an ottawa-based freelance writer ( tHe valUe Of aN r&d dOllar Defence industry among leading investors companies that create products and services for the military make significant investments in emerging technologies. R&D funding counts as table stakes in the military-products market, where businesses aim to discover serious differentiators and ensure their wares meet long-term requirements. According to Research Infosource, which tracks Canadian R&D spending, military-focused businesses such as CAE and Thales Canada pour up to $115 million a year into research and development, on par with the leading pharmaceutical, biotech and IT developers. In 2012, the tracking company listed more than a dozen defence and security firms among its top 100 corporate R&D spenders, including Bombardier (2) and Pratt & Whitney Canada (6) in its top ten. What's driving research spending? Vanguard spoke with five companies about where they are investing their R&D dollars at the moment. 28 FeBRUARy/MARch 2013 Photo: Bombardier Bombardier: Jet weight loss When researching and developing new technologies for its aircraft, Bombardier's aerospace division must consider not only the needs of the market, but also strict regulations that ensure jets are as safe as possible. The company usually has numerous R&D projects on the go at various stages, says Dr. Fassi Kafyeke, director of strategic technology for Bombardier Aerospace. "When you're ready to launch an airplane – when you have clearly identified customer need – you look into your portfolio and say, 'What technologies do I have that are maturing?'" One example is the new carbonreinforced plastic ailerons and outboard flaps on its latest regional jets. Just over five years ago, the company aimed to reduce the weight of its jets and cut manufacturing costs. The firm looked into its store of maturing technology. Bombardier had already worked with university researchers to create a process known as resintransfer moulding, a manufacturing method for carbon-reinforced plastic. The result: ailerons and outboard flaps that are lighter and easier to construct compared with earlier aluminum versions. "The number of parts was reduced by 90 percent," Kafyeke says. "That reduces manufacturing time and cost." cOM Dev: Picture perfect partnerships At space-hardware manufacturer COM DEV International, partnerships play an important role in R&D. A joint venture with Moog Broad Reach and Inmarsat PLC exemplifies this. According to Tony Stajcer, COM

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