THOMPSON, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Oct. 29, 2010) - The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification and the Honourable Peter Bjornson, Manitoba Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade today joined Rolls-Royce Canada Limited, Pratt & Whitney Canada, the National Research Council Canada (NRC), and other aerospace industry representatives to celebrate the grand opening of the Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environmental Research (GLACIER) facility and the not-for-profit Environmental Test, Research and Education Center (EnviroTREC).
This world class, state-of-the-art cold weather testing and research facility will benefit Manitoba and the world's aviation industry.
"Our Government is proud to be involved in this exciting partnership," said Minister Yelich. "By working together to develop this state-of-the-art facility we are promoting cutting-edge technology, and creating high-quality jobs and educational opportunities right here in northern Manitoba."
"The Glacier test facility in Thompson reinforces Manitoba's reputation as a global aerospace centre and strengthens Thompson's importance as an international cold weather test centre, said Minister Bjornson. "The province is pleased to support Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce as they introduce the next generation of advanced technology low emission aircraft engines."
"As a founding member of the facility, NRC is proud of its continued role in GLACIER and EnviroTREC and of its long-standing relationships with its valued industrial partners, Rolls- Royce Canada and Pratt and Whitney Canada," said John R. McDougall, NRC's President. "This facility is an outstanding example of the impact that collaboration, targeted research and technology development can have on a key industrial sector, and on the broader community."
EnviroTREC is a year-round research facility specializing in supporting engine icing certification and research. EnviroTREC is co-located with industry in this new facility built by Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environment Research Inc. (GLACIER) which is a limited joint venture between Rolls-Royce Canada Limited and Pratt & Whitney Canada.
"GLACIER will be a highly advanced centre for ice testing which is critical to the aerospace industry to ensure engine dependability and quality. The centre will also be a global leader in cold weather research which will deliver important benefits to the aviation industry," said Walter Di Bartolomeo, Chairman of the Board of GLACIER.
Funding of $42 million for the facility includes a Government of Canada investment of $13.4 million, a $9 million secured, repayable loan from the Province of Manitoba with the balance coming from the aerospace industry.
The opening of this facility and the jobs that are associated demonstrate Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce's commitment to Canada's economy through the Government's Industrial Regional Benefits (IRB) policy. The Program ensures high-value economic stimulus is injected into the economy, creating jobs and opportunities for Canadian workers and their families.
Through the IRB policy, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is helping to facilitate industry opportunities and partnerships for western Canadian firms. WD works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and represents the interests of western Canadians in national decision-making.
The investment of more than $5 million allows EnviroTREC to develop the technologies and skills needed to evaluate and certify the next generation of large aircraft engines.
R & D to develop the next generation of high-performance aircraft engines; currently recruiting more than 200 engineers.
The Mirabel Aerospace Centre will support flight testing for the complete range of Pratt & Whitney engines, including turboprops and turbofans up to 90,000 pounds of thrust.
At almost four times the size of the previous facility, the new Composites Innovation Centre features additional research space and a new training room dedicated to industry education.