Bombardier to fund aerospace research at Downsview Park
Aircraft manufacturer and Centennial College partner Bombardier came to the college’s new Centre for Aerospace and Aviation at Toronto’s Downsview Park on June 21 to reaffirm its commitment to the Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research Consortium (DAIR) to help establish an aerospace hub and spur innovation in Ontario’s aerospace industry.
Bombardier will provide $1.5 million over five years to fund core research areas of its Aeromaterials Research Centre, to be established at the DAIR Innovation Centre next door to Centennial’s newest campus. The Centre will bring together industry and academic partners in a collaborative space for aerospace training and education, research and development (R&D), and sector advisory services to maintain Canada’s leadership role in global aerospace sector.
Starting in 2019, Bombardier will contribute $1 million over five years for the creation of two Aerospace Research Centres at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto. They will focus on key research fields such as advanced interiors and acoustics. In addition, Bombardier will provide funding to Centennial for the completion of its Landing Gear Research project, while extending the college’s assembly program to train a minimum of 50 individuals for each of the next three years.
Bombardier also will provide $900,000 over the next three years to support formal operations of the DAIR Innovation Centre, and will remain actively engaged by appointing a member to its Board of Directors. Finally, in recognition of Downsview’s historical significance to the aerospace industry, Bombardier will be providing a total of $2.5 million in capital funding to refurbish the ‘Moth’ heritage building, which will serve as the cornerstone of the DAIR Innovation Centre.
The funding announcement, made by Francois Caza, Bombardier’s Vice President, Product Development and Chief Engineer, Aerospace, took place in Ryerson University’s lab space where students are working on advanced aircraft interiors. The lab is located adjacent to Centennial’s Downsview campus, which is still under construction.
“We expect to welcome our students here for the start of winter semester this coming January, after we move all of our aircraft and related equipment from our small hangar at Ashtonbee Campus to this historic facility, which served as the headquarters of de Havilland of Canada,” Centennial College President Ann Buller told the guests and staff.
“Our new space will allow us to expand our aviation technician AME programs and introduce new ones in aerospace manufacturing, which will triple our aviation-related enrolment to more than 1,000 full-time students,” she said.
University of Toronto Director Chris Damaren told the audience that he expects to return to Downsview in a few years to announce that the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) will relocate to the DAIR site to join Centennial and Ryerson to make it a truly collaborative research environment. He noted that UTIAS has its roots in Downsview, dating back to the 1950s.
Watch the construction of our new Downsview Campus: Centre for Aerospace and Aviation.