September 05, 2012 – Halifax, NS: An initiative from the Government of Canada will provide over 30 researchers and representatives of Atlantic Canadian companies an opportunity to showcase their innovative products, services and capabilities to key domestic and international contractors in the marine and defence procurement and shipbuilding sectors, thanks to support from the Government of Canada.

This initiative, held under the Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan, was highlighted by Member of Parliament Chris Alexander, who is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, while delivering the keynote address to open the Atlantic Marine and Defence Innovation Showcase occurring during the 2012 Canadian Defence Security and Aerospace Exhibition Atlantic (DEFSEC), in Halifax.

“The Government of Canada is taking pro-active measures to ensure that Atlantic researchers and businesses are able to take advantage of the opportunities attached to our $33 billion shipbuilding strategy,” said MP Alexander, on behalf of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie). “This event, which has also the potential to open doors to other marine, defence and shipbuilding opportunities around the globe, is another example of our Government’s commitment to create jobs, growth and long term prosperity in Atlantic Canada.”

This Atlantic Marine and Defence Innovation Showcase, organized in partnership with the Atlantic Alliance of Aerospace and Defence Associations (AAADA) as part of the Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan, will allow Atlantic Canada SMEs and researchers to showcase their services and products and participate in one-on-one meetings with Canadian and international marine and defence sector suppliers, buyers, contractors and sub-contractors.

“Since the launch of our Government’s Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan in February 2012, over 1,000 Atlantic small and medium-sized enterprises have participated in various initiatives and supplier development meetings,” said Minister Valcourt. “Our shipbuilding procurement strategy is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our region. We are firmly committed to ensure that it will create jobs and wealth in the four Atlantic provinces, in both rural and urban areas.”

“The AAADA is pleased to partner with ACOA on this important event, which puts our Atlantic innovators squarely in the spotlight,” said Mr. Andrew Hall, Co-chair of the Atlantic Alliance and President of Aerospace Prince Edward Island. “The overwhelming interest that has been shown both in the AAADA and in the ASAP initiatives we’ve carried out with ACOA over the last several months clearly demonstrates that we have been successful in our joint work to reach Atlantic entrepreneurs and inform them of the many opportunities that lie ahead.”

During the first phase of the Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan, ACOA and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. hosted 11 successful supplier development information sessions throughout Atlantic Canada in early 2012. These sessions attracted 872 participants from a wide range of Atlantic SMEs looking for information and advice on how to access the various upcoming shipbuilding supply chain opportunities.

In May 2012, ACOA and the AAADA hosted an Atlantic Marine and Defence Supplier Development Industry Day in Ottawa, Ontario. Through this initiative, a total of 116 Atlantic business representatives participated in over 100 meetings with Tier 1 and Tier 2 marine and defence sub-contractors such as General Electric Canada, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Thales, and MAN Diesel and Turbo.

ACOA has also commissioned a third-party analysis of the Atlantic marine industry to better identify existing regional infrastructure and the capabilities and capacities of the region’s businesses. Other events and initiatives are being planned as part of the Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan to further showcase the Atlantic region’s innovative marine industry capabilities, including a delegation of Atlantic firms to Exponaval, Latin America’s premier maritime and naval exhibition.

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INFORMATION: Richard Gauthier, Communications Coordinator, ACOA Head Office, 506-851-6773