The Canadian Composites Manufacturing Research and Development consortium (CCMRD) brings together major aerospace companies and small- to medium-sized enterprises with the aim of developing the latest technical and academic knowledge into practical solutions that will enhance Canada's global competitiveness.

"A virtual R&D center of this type is much needed in Canada," says Anoush Poursartip, CCMRD chairman and Research director for Convergent Manufacturing Technologies, a member company. "The CCMRD will help to advance the technological capabilities of Canadian industry whilst building stronger relationships between Canadian and international aerospace original equipment manufacturers, as well as Canadian material, equipment, component and software suppliers."

The CCMRD was formed in cooperation with the Composites Innovation Centre (CIC) in Winnipeg, National Research Council Canada's Institute for Aerospace Research (NRC-IAR) in Ottawa, and Boeing. Founding Canadian member companies include:

The CIC is responsible for CCMRD administration. Projects will be carried out at member companies across Canada. NRC-IAR will participate as a technology adviser, providing insight and direction based on its knowledge of the aerospace composites industry.

In addition to financial support, Boeing will provide technical expertise and project guidance through its central research, technology and innovation organisation, Boeing Research & Technology. Boeing Canada Operations Ltd in Winnipeg will take part in CCMRD projects along with other consortium members.

"Boeing's work with the CCMRD is part of our long-term focus of working together with industry, universities and research organisations to advance Canada's role in providing high-technology, high-quality materials and components for the aerospace industry," notes Pete Hoffman, Global Research and Development Strategy director for Boeing Research & Technology.

The CCMRD is in line with Canada's Industrial & Regional Benefits (IRB) policy and an integral part of Boeing's IRB programme associated with the Canadian Forces' acquisition of 15 CH-147 medium-to-heavy-lift helicopters. Canada's IRB policy requires prime contractors, such as Boeing, to make investments in the Canadian economy as a result of winning defence and security contracts with the Canadian government.

"Through CCMRD, we're bringing together Canadian companies of all sizes to develop unique capabilities, enhance the skills of Canada's work force, and increase competitiveness for continued growth in the global aerospace industry and into new markets," says Gwen Kopsie, International Industrial Participation director for Boeing Defense, Space & Security.