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  • La France veut consacrer près de 300 milliards d'euros à sa défense en sept ans

    February 8, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR

    La France veut consacrer près de 300 milliards d'euros à sa défense en sept ans

    Par Challenges le 08.02.2018 à 08h45 Régénérer les hommes et moderniser les équipements, durement sollicités, tout en préparant l'avenir : c'est l'ambition du nouveau projet de loi de programmation militaire (LPM) français, qui prévoit de consacrer 295 milliards d'euros à la défense de 2019 à 2025. Régénérer les hommes et moderniser les équipements, durement sollicités, tout en préparant l'avenir : c'est l'ambition du nouveau projet de loi de programmation militaire (LPM) français, qui prévoit de consacrer 295 milliards d'euros à la défense de 2019 à 2025. Objectif de cet "effort budgétaire inédit", selon les propos du président Emmanuel Macron : porter les dépenses de défense de la France à 2% du PIB en 2025, conformément à ce que réclame l'Otan de la part de ses membres, selon cette LPM présentée jeudi matin en conseil des ministres dont l'AFP a obtenu les détails. Le budget des armées, de 34,2 milliards d'euros en 2018, va bénéficier d'une hausse de 1,7 milliard d'euros par an jusqu'en 2022, avant des "marches" de 3 milliards par an à partir de 2023. Soit après la prochaine élection présidentielle. Cette trajectoire budgétaire ascendante contraste avec les réductions d'effectifs et les tensions financières endurées pendant plus d'une décennie par l'institution militaire, avant un redressement amorcé après les attentats de 2015. Reste une incertitude quant à la forte hausse des moyens programmée en 2024 et 2025, au-delà du quinquennat Macron. Pour l'heure, ce sont 198 milliards d'euros de besoins, de 2019 à 2023, qui sont "couverts de manière ferme", souligne-t-on au ministère. Les montants des années suivantes seront "précisés" lors d'une actualisation de la LPM en 2021. L'ancien chef d'Etat-major des armées Pierre de Villiers a appelé à la vigilance mercredi soir sur France 3, en soulignant que la mise en oeuvre de ces projections budgétaires était rarement fidèle aux engagements initiaux. "Nous sommes sur une pente à 1,7 milliard jusqu'en 2022 et ensuite la pente est à 3 milliards à partir de 2023 (...) Evidemment, nous avons l'expérience, il faudra être vigilant" sur l'exécution de ces engagements, a lancé le général, qui a démissionné en juillet 2017 après un conflit avec le chef de l'Etat en raison de coupes budgétaires. Le projet de LPM érige en priorités l'amélioration du quotidien du soldat et à la modernisation d'équipements à bout de souffle, alors que la France est engagée tous azimuts, au Sahel (opération Barkhane), au Levant (Chammal) et sur le territoire national (Sentinelle). Livraisons accélérées et augmentées Après quelque 60.000 suppressions d'effectifs entre 2005 et 2015, le ministère des Armées ambitionne de créer quelque 6.000 postes d'ici à 2025, en particulier dans la cyberdéfense (1.500) et le renseignement (1.500). Pour améliorer la condition des quelque 200.000 militaires français et les fidéliser, la LPM augmente nettement les crédits consacrés aux petits équipements (+34% sur 2019-23) -- gilets pare-balles, treillis... --, à l'entretien du matériel (+30%) et aux infrastructures (+71%), longtemps négligés. Deuxième grand axe : la modernisation accélérée des matériels existants, nombreux à aligner plusieurs décennies de service, a été privilégiée, et l'accent mis sur les capacités de renseignement (avions, drones, satellites...) susceptibles d'accroître l'autonomie stratégique française et européenne. L'armée de Terre va voir le renouvellement accéléré de ses véhicules blindés médians (programme Scorpion), dont 50% des nouveaux modèles seront livrés d'ici à 2025. Les fameux VAB, 40 ans au compteur, seront remplacés par les blindés Griffon, dont 150 exemplaires supplémentaires seront commandés. La Marine obtient quatre pétroliers ravitailleurs nouvelle génération, dont deux d'ici à 2025, un b'timent spécialisé dans le recueil de renseignement, et 19 patrouilleurs au lieu des 17 prévus pour surveiller les zones économiques exclusives françaises outre-mer. L'armée de l'Air se voit allouer 8 avions légers de surveillance, et le renouvellement accéléré de sa flotte quinquagénaire d'avions ravitailleurs Boeing KC-135 par 15 A330 MRTT, dont 12 auront été livrés en 2023. Pour préparer l'avenir, la France va lancer des études sur le remplacement de son unique porte-avions, qui sera retiré du service vers 2040. Seront également financées des études sur le système de combat aérien du futur et sur le char de combat du futur. Sur le plan de la dissuasion nucléaire, clé de voûte de la défense française, les travaux de renouvellement des deux composantes (navale et aérienne) seront engagés au cours du quinquennat. Budget estimé : 37 milliards d'euros entre 2019 et 2025. (Avec AFP) https://www.challenges.fr/entreprise/defense/la-france-veut-consacrer-pres-de-300-milliards-d-euros-a-sa-defense-en-sept-ans_566000

  • L3 WESCAM launches smarter imaging and processing technologies

    February 6, 2018 | Local, C4ISR

    L3 WESCAM launches smarter imaging and processing technologies

    SINGAPORE, February 6, 2018 – L3 WESCAM announced today that it has created smarter, more technologically advanced electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) systems by incorporating highperforming imaging and processing technologies into its MX™-Series product line. These new technologies will enable MX operators to conduct missions with enhanced image processing and greater visual capabilities than ever before. “Today's environments are more complex, and missions need to be executed with more assurance,” said Paul Jennison, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for L3 WESCAM. “L3's newly incorporated smart technologies provide a portfolio of capabilities that will help operators succeed though a combination of ease-of-use and robust performance.” Newly launched imaging technologies include the addition of higher-sensitivity cameras that offer advanced imaging capabilities across a much wider range of illumination conditions, thereby advancing operator capabilities in low-visibility and no-visibility environments. Advancements to L3's MX image processing technologies include WESCAM's embedded Advanced Video Engine (WAVE) and a newly embedded Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). L3 WESCAM's new Automated Video Tracker (AVT) and embedded Moving Target Indicator (MTI) technologies are supported by this new architecture and provide automatic target acquisition of multiple targets with significantly improved target lock performance in challenging mission scenarios. L3's significant investment in its image processing technologies has made the MX product line smarter, as the WAVE's architecture supports future growth and allows for the rapid deployment of future image processing techniques. L3 has more than 40 years of experience in the design and delivery of stabilized imaging and targeting solutions. Systems range in size from 8 to 25 inches in diameter, portray clear sighting capabilities across the visible and infrared spectrums, and operate with outstanding stabilization and leading range performance. https://www.wescam.com/wp-content/uploads/L3-WESCAM_Launches_Smarter_More_Accurate_Imaging_Processing_Technologies.pdf

  • L3 WESCAM wins defense contracts valued at more than US$250 million

    February 1, 2018 | Local, C4ISR

    L3 WESCAM wins defense contracts valued at more than US$250 million

    L3 WESCAM announced on Feb. 1 that it ended the second half of 2017 with more than US$250 million in contracts from military and law enforcement customers for its MX-Series electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) products and in-service support products and services. The orders will provide a range of MX imaging and targeting solutions to both experienced MX end users and military customers new to L3 WESCAM products and services. “For more than 40 years, L3 has been a key supplier of ISR technologies, including sensors and systems, to help military and law enforcement agencies stay on the leading edge as surveillance and reconnaissance missions evolve,” said Jeff Miller, L3's senior vice-president and president of its sensor systems business segment. “We have earned and maintained a very strong reputation for quality, performance, reliability and rapid delivery, having provided more than 4,100 MX surveillance and targeting systems worldwide.” New platforms, new end-user countries The demand for L3 WESCAM's ISR technologies continued to grow as systems were sold for the first time into four new countries across four separate continents, including Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. Additionally, MX-Series systems were purchased for the first time on six significant airborne platforms, including airframes developed in Europe, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. L3 WESCAM turrets are now operating in over 70 countries on more than 190 different types of platforms across the air, land and maritime domains. Continued growth for in-service support L3 continued to experience a growing demand for in-service support contracts from MX customers located across North America, Europe and Asia. To keep operators and maintainers of MX systems operating at maximum efficiency, L3 WESCAM held a series of highly interactive customer conferences in Italy, France, Australia and Canada. With over 230 MX operators and maintainers in attendance, L3 presented a series of technology sessions, gaining pivotal insight into each customer's direct experience with MX products and a better understanding of future surveillance and targeting requirements. Complementing these customer-centric user groups, L3's global in-service support infrastructure, composed of 13 service centres staffed by a team of dedicated field service support personnel, continued to provide unmatched maintenance and repair solutions to customers who rely on L3's airborne, land and maritime imaging capabilities 24/7. L3 WESCAM also conducted a series of new product demonstrations in the latter half of the year that were overwhelmingly successful, underscoring the company's commitment to anticipating customer needs and achieving the highest levels of performance possible. These trials will help to support future business opportunities moving into 2018 and beyond. L3 WESCAM is a world leader in the design and manufacture of stabilized, multi-spectral imaging systems. https://www.wescam.com/wp-content/uploads/Final_WESCAM_-second-half-2017-results.pdf

  • Government uses procurement to help small businesses grow and create jobs

    December 18, 2017 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Government uses procurement to help small businesses grow and create jobs

    Innovative Solutions Canada is a $100-million program to fuel innovation and create middle-class jobs December 14, 2017 – Ottawa As the single-largest purchaser of Canadian goods and services, the Government of Canada will use procurement to help Canadian small businesses innovate and create employment opportunities for Canadians. The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, together with the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, today announced the $100-million Innovative Solutions Canada program that invites Canadian small businesses to develop novel solutions to challenges proposed by federal departments and agencies. Whether the challenge is developing a way to make armour more resistant to chemicals or improving wireless connectivity in connected vehicles, the federal department or agency will ask small businesses to innovate and propose a solution. The government will work with the winning business and act as its first customer, helping the companies take their idea to market and advance the next generation of solutions that can become viable commercial products. Twenty federal departments and agencies will participate in the new program and identify problems spanning the military, economic and environmental sectors. Innovative Solutions Canada is a key component of the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class. Quotes “Our government's new Innovative Solutions Canada program is a big winner on several fronts. We're being proactive and transforming our challenges into opportunities—opportunities for innovation, economic growth and small business success that will result in a vibrant innovation economy and more middle-class jobs for Canadians.” – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development “We believe innovative Canadian small businesses are well positioned to help the government solve some of its more persistent challenges. Through Innovative Solutions Canada, we are asking entrepreneurs to develop new products and services that will help to solve these challenges, while also enabling these entrepreneurs as they work to expand to new markets and sell to new customers around the world. The benefits from this program are clear: the Government of Canada will be able to acquire new products and services that will improve our work, while hard-working small business owners will be able to grow their businesses and create more well-paying middle-class jobs.” – The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism “Our community of early-stage investors, incubators and accelerators provides much-needed coaching, connections and capital to Canada's early-stage companies seeking to grow and scale up. Many times, their ‘first customer' serves as critical validation that allows these companies to penetrate their markets locally and globally. The Innovative Solutions Canada program announced today will help Canadian companies gain early customer traction while also allowing Canadians to benefit from the adoption of homegrown innovative solutions.” ‑ Sandi Gilbert, Chair of the Board, National Angel Capital Organization (NACO Canada) Quick Facts Program funding will come from the 20 departments and agencies participating in Innovative Solutions Canada. Each department will set aside 1 percent of its research and development expenditures for this initiative. Innovative Solutions Canada is modelled on the U.S. Small Business Innovation Research program and is an essential component of the Government of Canada's efforts to help small businesses. Innovative Solutions Canada will encourage submissions from businesses owned and led by women, Indigenous peoples, youth and other traditionally under-represented groups. https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2017/12/government_uses_procurementtohelpsmallbusinessesgrowandcreatejob.html

  • American exodus? 17,000 US defense suppliers may have left the defense sector

    December 14, 2017 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    American exodus? 17,000 US defense suppliers may have left the defense sector

    WASHINGTON — A large number of American companies supplying the U.S. military may have left the defense market, according to a study announced Thursday, raising alarm over the health and future of the defense industrial base. The Center for Strategic and International Studies study said the number of first-tier prime vendors declined by roughly 17,000 companies, or roughly 20 percent, between 2011 and 2015. The full study, due to be released in January, was authored by CSIS Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group Director Andrew Hunter, Deputy Director Gregory Sanders and Research Associate Rhys McCormick. It was sponsored by the Naval Postgraduate School and co-produced by the Aerospace Industries Association, which released an executive summary on Dec. 14, the day of its annual aerospace and defense luncheon in Washington. The authors, who used publicly available contract data, write that it's unclear — due to the limitations in the subcontract database —whether the companies have exited the industrial base entirely or still perform work at the lower tiers. “There is no doubt that a huge portion of the recent turbulence in the defense industrial base has taken place among subcontractors, who are less equipped to tolerate the defense marketplace's funding uncertainly and often onerous regulatory regime — yet it remains extremely difficult to determine the real impact of these conditions on subcontractors,” the authors conclude. Further details may yet be revealed by the Trump administration's ongoing review of the resiliency of the defense-industrial base. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' assessment is due to President Donald Trump by mid-April 2018. The CSIS summary links 2011 Budget Control Act caps, subsequent short-term budget agreements, and Congress' “unpredictable and inconsistent” appropriations process to the “lost suppliers, changes in competition and market structure, and other turmoil” it found. The years 2011-2015 are considered a period of defense drawdown and decline. The authors, rather than focus strictly on the total decline of defense contract obligations over the entire period, chose to chart the “whipsaw” effect that struck certain sectors of the industrial base amid the imposition of sequestration in 2013 and subsequent budget caps. Though the defense budget had been declining in the years leading up to the Budget Control Act, the implementation of an across-the-board sequestration budget cut in 2013 “marked a severe market shock that had a considerable impact on the defense industry,” the authors say. Compared to the pre-drawdown fiscal 2009-2010 period, the start of the drawdown in fiscal 2011-2012, average annual defense contract obligations dropped 5 percent. When sequestration was triggered in fiscal 2013, defense contract obligations dropped 15 percent from the previous year. Average annual defense contract obligations fell 23 percent during the so-called BCA decline period, fiscal 2013-2015. The Army, which has a checkered modernization history, bore the brunt of the decline. Average annual defense contracts dropped 18 percent at the start of the drawdown, then 35 percent during the BCA decline period. Missile defense contract obligations actually gained 7 percent at the start of the drawdown and then dropped only 3 percent under budget caps. During his presidency, Barack Obama reversed course from early cuts to missile defense to spur the development and deployment of missile defense systems in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson reacted to the internally circulated findings earlier this month, saying budget cuts are responsible for the industry being “more fragile and less flexible than I've seen it, and I've been in the industry many, many years.” “What we've seen in the industry, I'll give you an example at Lockheed Martin: At the outset of budget cuts we were about 126,000 employees; today we are at 97,000 employees,” Hewson said at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California. “Our footprint has shrunk dramatically. We see some of our small and medium-sized business, some of the components that we need, there's one, maybe two suppliers in that field where there were many, many more before.” Budget cuts have squeezed the Defense Department to unduly prioritize low-cost contracts over innovation and investment. Cost “shootouts,” she said, are endangering the military's plans to grow in size and lethality. AIA Vice President for National Security Policy John Luddy said companies have coped through a variety of “healthy efficiencies,” such as mergers and acquisitions, consolidating facilities, exploring shared services, and offloading certain contracting activities. “Our companies have done an amazing job of managing the downturn, they've pulled all kinds of levels to make it work, they've shown the ingenuity of the American free market system,” Luddy said. “Nonetheless, the uncertainty of the budgeting process has become a huge challenge for us.” Army Secretary Mark Esper, formerly of Raytheon, warned lawmakers at a Senate hearing Dec. 7 that uneven funding is driving small suppliers — “an engine of innovation” — out of the defense sector. “If you're a small mom and pop shop out there, and I'm referring to my industry experience, it's hard for them to survive in the uncertain budgetary environment,” Esper said. “And we risk losing those folks who may over time decide that they're going to get out of the defense business and go elsewhere. So that's a big threat to our supply chains.” But the CSIS study found that small vendors either increased their share of platform portfolio contract obligations or held steady, while large and medium vendors were most harmed by the market shock from sequestration and the defense drawdown. https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2017/12/14/american-exodus-17000-us-defense-suppliers-may-have-left-the-defense-sector/

  • Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS)

    December 5, 2017 | Information, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS)

    A New Approach to Innovation for Defence and Security The Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program will support research to help solve Canada's challenges in defence and security. IDEaS will: provide financial support to innovators and researchers to perform research, generate knowledge or solve problems to address defence and security challenges that DND and security partners will identify; support research and development (R&D) networks to address such challenges; and support innovation from problem definition to early adoption of the solution. How is IDEaS different? The IDEaS Program will introduce new approaches by: facilitating partnership opportunities between innovators, industry and other defence and security stakeholders; providing ongoing calls for innovation to highlight emerging requirements and opportunities for innovators to engage in defence and security challenges; supporting projects to allow for development of promising ideas; acquiring limited pre-production quantities of innovations to be evaluated in operational settings; and using a web portal to broadcast defence and security challenges to recruit appropriate S&T expertise across academia, industry, government and other partners. Why is IDEAS necessary? Innovative technology, knowledge, and problem solving are critical for Canada and its allies to mitigate new threats, stay ahead of potential adversaries, and meet evolving defence and security needs. In this environment, Canada's defence and security stakeholders need a fundamentally new approach to innovation to allow them to better tap into the extraordinary talent and ingenuity resident across the country. The IDEaS program will launch a number of coordinated new initiatives that will transform the way we generate solutions to complex problems. Launch of the IDEaS Program is expected in Fall 2017. More details about the program will be forthcoming. https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/programs/defence-ideas.html

  • EU-Canada joint ministerial committee meeting

    December 4, 2017 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    EU-Canada joint ministerial committee meeting

    The first meeting of the EU-Canada joint ministerial committee took place in Brussels on 4 December 2017. The committee adopted a joint statement: Joint statement: 'EU and Canada: A progressive and dynamic strategic partnership' "We are completely likeminded partners and since the signing of recent agreements our relations moved to an even deeper and stronger partnership. We are both committed and we are both supporting first of all multilateralism and rules-based international order. The importance of this could not be underestimated in these days. So our partnership is strong and beneficial not only for our citizens but also for serving a certain idea of multilateralism and of the world." Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy "From Canada's perspective, we value very much our partnership with the European Union and today more than ever we value what the European Union stands for in the world. It stands for democracy, it stands for a strong voice in support of human rights, the European Union is a strong voice in favour of the international rules-based order. We appreciate that, we support you and we are very grateful. We look forward to working as allies in all of these issues in the days and months to come." Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada EU-Canada bilateral relationship The committee agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the EU and Canada. The cooperation has entered a new era with the provisional application of the strategic partnership agreement (SPA) since 1 April 2017 and of the comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA) since 21 September 2017. The committee discussed in particular how to step up security and defence cooperation in areas such as crisis management and security, cyber security and responding to hybrid threats. The EU and Canada also committed to working together on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The Committee agreed that the EU and Canada will co-chair a Women Foreign Ministers meeting in 2018. The committee also reviewed how to strengthen EU-Canada cooperation in third countries in regions such as Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. Foreign policy coordination A number of key issues on the international agenda were also discussed, including the situation in eastern Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Myanmar/Burma. Global issues The EU and Canada discussed global issues, including climate change, human rights and democracy, as well as migration and counter-terrorism. Signing ceremony In the margins of the meeting, the EU and Canada signed an agreement allowing for the exchange of classified information between them. This agreement enables greater cooperation, including in the framework of common security and defence policy (CSDP) missions and operations. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/international-ministerial-meetings/2017/12/04/

  • Presagis Unveils Three New Products at I/ITSEC

    November 27, 2017 | Local, Aerospace, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Presagis Unveils Three New Products at I/ITSEC

    Orlando, USA – November 27, 2017 – Presagis is introducing three new products to the training and simulation market at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) taking place November 27 to December 1 in Orlando, Florida. A leader in modeling and simulation software, Presagis is bolstering its line of sensor simulators with the introduction of ONDULUS NVG, Panorama -- an image generation platform, and VELOCITY, a next-generation solution for the production of large synthetic training environments. “By supplying simulation software to most of the top 100 defense and aerospace companies in the world, Presagis is extremely well positioned to capture the needs of our customers by innovating and developing solutions that respond directly to their needs,” explains Jean-Michel Brière, Presagis' President. “These three products – Ondulus NVG, Panorama, and VELOCITY -- not only provide our customers with more accuracy, realism, and cost-savings, but mark significant technological achievements in the evolution of our company.” Panorama is a competitively-priced image generation system that gives organizations the ability to add high-fidelity, scalable imaging to their simulation solutions. Leveraging Vega Prime, Ondulus and other Presagis software solutions, Panorama is capable of providing Out-of-the-Window (OTW), Electro-Optical (EO), night-vision goggles (NVG) and infrared (IR) views for ground, air, and marine domains. VELOCITY is a new, revolutionary way of building synthetic environments that will permit agencies and organizations to analyze and use the unmanageable amounts of data they have to automate the creation of rich, immersive 3D virtual environments. Building on the success of the Ondulus family of sensor products, Ondulus NVG gives users the ability to add realistic physics-based night-vision sensor simulation to their research, training or mission planning environments. Ondulus NVG supports both passive and active illumination. In addition to these new products, Presagis is also launching the newest version of its M&S Suite – version 17. Comprising industry-standard software such as STAGE, Creator, Terra Vista, and Vega Prime, M&S Suite 17 is set to release in early 2018 with an arsenal of new features. “The M&S Suite is a pillar in the Presagis portfolio. We continue to respond to our customers' needs by providing new features and tools for content creators, as well as wider access and more scripting functionality for developers. Every product in the suite has been improved – from Creator and Terra Vista, to the simulators and Vega Prime. The Ondulus family in particular received many improvements in the form of new detectors for Ondulus IR, and several new radar modes for Ondulus Radar,” said Stéphane Blondin, Presagis' Vice President of Product Management and Marketing. Presagis will also be showcasing its series of customizable simulators, HELI CRAFT and UAV CRAFT. In response to the increasing demand for open architecture simulators and training devices, Presagis offers virtual unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) station and a helicopter simulator. These reference platforms integrate nearly all Presagis commercial off-the-shelf simulation products and technology, and can be used as advanced start points for customers interested in building their own simulators. Presagis will be demonstrating its full range of simulation software and solutions at the upcoming Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) from November 27 to December 1 in Orlando, FL. (Presagis booth: #1762). About Presagis Presagis is a global leader providing commercial modeling, simulation and embedded software solutions to the aerospace, defense and security, and critical infrastructure markets. Presagis combines an open simulation development framework with expert professional services to help customers streamline development workflows, reduce project risks, and deliver game-quality immersive simulations. Presagis is also at the forefront of avionics software design for certifiable cockpit displays. The company serves hundreds of customers worldwide, including many of the world's most respected organizations such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, BAE Systems, and CAE. For more information, visit www.presagis.com. For further information: Stéphane Blondin, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing, Tel: +1 514 341.3874, E-Mail: Stephane.Blondin@presagis.com https://www.presagis.com/en/press-center/detail/presagis-unveils-three-new-products-at-i-itsec/

  • Innovation requires experience: AIAC panel

    November 23, 2017 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Innovation requires experience: AIAC panel

    Posted on November 23, 2017 by Chris Thatcher When the federal government delivered its 2017 budget last spring, innovation was mentioned 262 times and served as the focal point for numerous new initiatives. The centrepiece was the Innovation and Skills Plan, a series of proposals that included additional venture capital funding, new support for innovation in key growth areas and superclusters, and Innovation Canada, an initiative to bring siloed projects and funding programs for innovators under one roof. More recently, the government in its 2017 defence policy introduced IDEaS (Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security), a program currently seeking Treasury Board approval that will invest $1.6 billion over the next 20 years to generate solutions to complex challenges across the Canadian Armed Forces. It will also speed up the development of new technologies through contests, sandbox trials, research networks and other programs. The devil is always in the details of such initiatives, and all are in the early stages. Still, they have been widely welcomed by the aerospace sector. However, innovation is not for the inexperienced, four seasoned small business executives cautioned during the annual Canadian Aerospace Summit on Nov. 7. While government programs often appear to be tailored to recent graduates with youthful enthusiasm, true innovation doesn't succeed without business acumen. “It takes experience; it takes patience,” said Gabe Batstone, a self-described serial entrepreneur with over two decades in the tech sector, who recently launched Ottawa-based Contextere, an artificial intelligence firm focused on applications for blue collar workers that has secured funding from BMW, Lockheed Martin and Samsung. Aerospace and defence programs can take years to mature and regulations invariably play a big part in the introduction of any new technology, he said. “To bring emergent technology into complex organizations, it's about procurement [expertise], about sales, about relationships, about [understanding] regulations. The technology is the least difficult part.” In fact, tried and true business practices focused on customer relations are essential to entrepreneurial success. “I was never worried about the technology,” said John Mannarino, president of Montreal-based Mannarino Systems and Software, a company that has grown from a one-man consultancy to over 60 employees specializing in engineering services and airborne software. Rather, innovation has come from listening to customers and suppliers, and that takes time. “I had to learn.” In an address to the Summit, hosted by the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, Michael Anderson, president of Saab North America, observed that innovation does not happen without an element of risk. “The organization that has the best ability to effectively mitigate risk while providing an environment that promotes risk-taking will eventually be a successful innovator and, of course, a successful business.” But there is a point at which small companies cannot take on more risk, said Dave Muir, president and CEO of Ottawa-based Gastops, a health monitoring firm that has developed sensor and analysis tools for complex aircraft and engines. “The larger companies are pushing risk way more down into the supply chain than they were. As a small fish there is only so far out from the shore you can swim before bad things happen.” The pace of change is also creating challenges for small business, and it's not limited to technology. Development cycles, production schedules, and time to market have all been compressed in recent years. For Patrick Thera, president of SED, a division of Calian that has been developing commercial satellite and ground systems solutions for over 50 years, that means being shrewd about where and with whom to invest. “Key collaborations are very important,” he said, noting that “coopetition” has sometimes made for unexpected partners. “One day you're competing against a fellow company and the next you're partnering with that company.” Gastops, too, has invested far more than previously in establishing collaborative networks to further its innovation. “I strongly believe, especially for a small company, that you cannot do innovation in the aerospace industry by yourself alone in the back room,” said Muir. Adapting to the pace of change can be especially difficult if you don't have the necessary specialized skills in your company. All four executives acknowledged the challenge of finding top software and engineering talent when much larger companies in every sector are pursuing the same people. But they also argued that as products become more sophisticated, expertise in procurement, project management, intellectual property and marketing is critical to innovation and a company's growth. When you are competing against cool start-ups with world-changing visions, “you have to go a long way to show people that you do offer a lot of things that they can take pride in, that you save lives every day with the technologies you create,” said Thera. https://www.skiesmag.com/news/innovation-requires-experience-aiac-panel

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