Calgary to further develop Aerospace Innovation Hub – Cities Today

Calgary to further develop Aerospace Innovation Hub - Cities Today

Calgary to further develop Aerospace Innovation Hub 13 March 2024 by Jonathan Andrews A C$3.9 million investment will enable aerospace innovators to gain access to funding, business support and the ability to validate their technologies in real-world settings at Canada’s Aerospace Innovation Hub (AIH) in Calgary. The funding comes from Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, managed by Innovate Calgary, and the participation of industry partners – WestJet, the Calgary Airport Authority and Ventures. “The [hub] represents a significant opportunity not only for our airport but also for our region,” Megan Gupton (pictured above), Chief Information Officer for the Calgary Airport Authority, told Cities Today . “Innovation is crucial for the aviation sector, and by fostering innovators in the aerospace industry, directly in our terminal, we anticipate substantial benefits for our airport, and broader ecosystem.” Between 2024 and 2028, the AIH is expected to support incubator programming for up to 180 companies and create 150 net new skilled, indirect jobs. As part of this, the AIH will directly fund six companies through the accelerator programme aimed at upskilling and attracting talent to the province. Through the provision of resources available from OCIF funding, the hub is expected to generate C$1.5 million of research and development and 40 patents supported through ElevateIP Alberta. The Calgary Airport Authority will provide both a physical space for the hub as well as opportunities for innovators to apply their solutions to real-world airport scenarios. “While providing space is a key aspect of this initiative, our airport’s involvement extends beyond mere accommodation,” said Gupton. “Hosting groups that are focused on aerospace innovation holds promise for passengers, authority staff and our partners. We envision a space where new technologies can undergo real-world testing, facilitating quick feedback loops and ultimately leading to significant advancements that enhance the aerospace ecosystem.” The hub joins the University of Calgary’s network of four themed innovation hubs managed by Innovate Calgary, The AIH is currently accepting new companies looking to expand to or within Calgary. Entrepreneurs, start-ups, scale-ups and large corporate partners from aerospace and advanced manufacturing sectors are invited to join the AIH, adding their ideas and expertise to build a world-renowned aerospace hub. Image: Calgary Airport Authority