The governments of both Canada and Quebec have each pledged $800,000 toward the construction of a new Qualia Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence (UAS-CE), where both commercial and civilian operators of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) can validate their products and services in ‘real world’ conditions.
The project, valued at $2.4 million, is in line with Quebec’s Aerospace Strategy 2016-2026 that aims to develop the RPAS sector and its civilian applications.
The announcement earlier this week was made in Alma, located in the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec, the site of the new centre.
“The RPAS sector is expanding rapidly in Quebec,” said Suzanne Benoit, president of Aéro Montréal. “By establishing a site where companies from the RPAS sector will be able to test their new products in an optimal way, the [Centre of Excellence] is supporting their growth ambitions. It responds directly to the need to create synergies among aerospace companies with a view to implementing operational demonstrators and commercializing new products. The StartAéro 360° initiative, which we launched in 2018, is designed specifically to encourage these synergies.”
Added federal minister for economic development Navdeep Baines, “The Qualia project is in alignment with the Government of Canada’s priorities by fostering the growth and evolution of inclusive regional innovation ecosystems. It will also support the development of a strong industry by promoting the mobilization, growth and competitiveness of companies in the drone industry. We promote long-term economic development, and that benefits organizations, businesses and communities.”
From left to right: Marc Moffatt, Director General, Drone Centre of Excellence, Éric Girard, Lac-Saint-Jean MLA, Member of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Richard Hébert, Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Jean and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, Marc Asselin, Mayor of the City of Alma and Alain Fortin, President, Drone Centre of Excellence.