Vanguard Magazine

Dec/Jan 2015

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

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Page 23 of 47

S ShipbuiLding 24 DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015 INVESTING IN EMERGING TECHNOLOGY SHIPBUILDING TECHNOLOGY FORUM "What goes into a ship is a technological mar- vel," Vice-Admiral (Ret'd) Peter Cairns remarked as he opened the inaugural Shipbuilding Tech- nology Forum in Ottawa last month. As president of the Shipbuilding Association of Canada (SAC), Cairns fi rmly believes the Royal Canadian Navy's next generation of ships should be built in Canada. While he has not shied away from critiquing its faults, he has been a vo- cal proponent of the National Shipbuilding Pro- curement Strategy and the promise it holds. But to capitalize on its potential, Canadian industry must deliver leading-edge technology. So when Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, challenged industry at CANSEC to change the procurement conver- sation through greater investment in technol- ogy and innovation, Cairns took her at her word. Working with partners, including Vanguard, the association set out to organize a forum to understand some of requirements for the fu- ture classes of both navy and Canadian Coast Guard vessels, as well as emerging technolo- gies and the capabilities that reside in Cana- dian industry. And Cairns invited Finley to be the event's keynote speaker. In an address that highlighted progress to date on the NSPS – including a recent Request for Proposals for the procurement of Coast Guard search and rescue lifeboats – she urged OEMs to invest in Canada and SMEs to "rise to the challenge" of competing internationally, with government support. Cairns, too, encouraged industry and govern- ment to be " use the best Canadian technology we can fi nd...We need to promote the build-in-Canada piece of the [NSPS]" and that can only happen "if we work together," he said. Industry speakers echoed many of those sentiments, noting both a changing landscape and the opportunities that it presents. "The playing fi eld is changing and Canada can be a leader by not following the status quo," said Jason Aspin, CEO of Aspin Kemp & Associates, during a presentation on advances in marine power and propulsion systems. "There is no point trying to participate in a space that is al- ready well worn...we need to be innovative lead- ers, and with NSPS the opportunities are there." In a presentation on shipyard costing, John Schmidt, vice president Commercial for Chantier Davie, urged colleagues "to be an advocate for Canadian innovation." Paul Barbeau, founder and principal naval architect at Navtech, noted that advancements in design "are now to levels no one would have been able to imagine 50 years ago." Shipbuild- ing "faces a deluge of new technologies," he said, and growing demands from owners and operators will challenge conventional thinking. Several speakers noted the opportunities for creativity with in-service support as the NSPS moves forward, and Andrew Kendrick, vice president of Operations for VARD Marine, sug- gested a "spectrum of possibilities" for Cana- dian shipyards, ports and labour in the nascent area of LNG repair and conversion – if stake- holders come together. Despite occurring at the end of a busy Fall schedule of defence and security events, the forum sold out its 200 seats, a clear indication to Cairns that more shipbuilding technology dis- cussion is needed. "This is the fi rst of what we hope is going to be many forums," he said. In lieu of gifts to the conference speakers, a donation was made to the Royal Canadian Naval Benevolent Fund by SAC and Vanguard.

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