Cluster of Excellence for drones planned for Quebec

Leaders of the Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence (UAS CE) have announced the creation of a new Cluster of Excellence for drones in the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec.

As part of the ACCORD programme, the Quebec government has announced earlier this month the signing of a three-year agreement for the implementation, in Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean, of a Cluster of Excellence towards the development of the civil and commercial UAV industry.

In addition,  $270,000 in financial assistance will be granted to the UAS Centre of Excellence (UAS CE) to orchestrate the cluster. In order to support the development of a regional ecosystem dedicated to commercial and civil drones, the government announced, in its 2016-2026 Aerospace Strategy, a $1 million investment over the next five years.

Of this amount, $355,000 in funding from the Strategic Industry and Cluster Support Program (PADS) has already been awarded to the UAS CE to support its effort to develop the Cluster of Excellence for civil and commercial drones.

By the UAS Centre of Excellence initiative, the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean region has developed a recognized expertise in the UAV industry, which represents a real emerging market within the aerospace industry.

Among others, its civil applications will bring significant benefits in several well-established economic sectors in Quebec, such as energy, telecommunications and natural resources. The Centre offers exceptional quality facilities.

“The UAS Cluster of Excellence will represent a strong and unified structure for the development of this sector,” said Marc Moffatt, director general of the UAS CE. “The Cluster of Excellence will contribute to the development of the drone technology, while being the voice of Quebec Industry. We will work to structure, promote and represent the Quebec UAS Industry within Canada, as well as on the international level.”

As an international centre of expertise, services and innovation, the UAS CE offers all the necessary assets to enable the Cluster of Excellence members to figure among the world leaders of this cutting-edge sector.

Founded in 2011, the UAS Centre of Excellence provides world-class infrastructure for the design, testing, application and operation of commercial and civil drones.

The Centre is located on the Alma Airport site, which features a 5,000-foot paved runway, an automated weather information system, navigation systems and other facilities allowing UAV tests.

In addition, the UAS CE has access to one of the only beyond visual line of sight UAV flight zones in Canada.