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North of the Border Collaboration

This is a big week for the aerospace industry on both sides of the international border we share with Quebec. Up in Montreal, 800 people from all over Canada and the world were in town for the Forum Innovation AĆ©rospatiale 2013 – Aero Montreal’s Aerospace Innovation Forum.

Given that our aero/defense industries are growing, this was the place to start the week.

Aerospace is a big deal in Quebec and especially in Montreal, home to the likes of the big names – Bombardier, Bell Helicopter and Pratt & Whitney Canada. We could illustrate this with facts and figures, but one of the speakers on Monday’s program explained it like this:

“Montreal is one place in the world where you can find all the parts you need to build an airplane within 30 kilometers.”

There was a spot on the program Monday afternoon for us and it was a momentous occasion, as the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium signed its first international partnership with Aero Montreal.

AeroMontrealSigning_edited-1

Christopher Wrenn, left, of NHADEC signs the collaboration agreement with Aero Montreal.

“This is a big day for NHADEC and the state of New Hampshire,” said Christopher Wren of Gentex Corp. in Manchester, chairman of the export consortium, which was organized last March. “It’s important because we are such a young organization and it gives us the opportunity to partner with an organization that has a long history in aerospace. Our members will learn a lot, but we have a lot to offer to Aero Montreal.”

The agreement establishes preferred relations between the two organizations and encourages collaboration on topics such as training, research, joint trade missions and supplier development initiatives.

“This strategic collaboration will provide major opportunities for Quebec’s aerospace industry by encouraging trade and fostering partnerships between our two aerospace sectors,” said Suzanne Benoit, president of Aero Montreal, adding that it is the first step toward establishing a Quebec-New England aerospace corridor.

NHADEC was established by the International Trade Resource Center last March, one of the only export consortia in the country and boasts a membership of 70 companies. About 300 companies in New Hampshire have ties to the aero/defense industry and being able to tap into the connections, research and supply chain is going to be a great benefit to the sectors, which are growing in the Granite State.

“This signing really is an indication of the momentum we are building as a cluster,” said Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development. “Just as aerospace and defense are key industries here, it is in Montreal as well. As we grow this collaboration and grow our partnership, we’ll develop new opportunities for New Hampshire businesses.”

Canada is New Hampshire’s largest trading partner and we share an international border with Quebec. Montreal (depending on where you are) is only a couple of hours away. The prime driver of Quebec’s economy is aerospace and 98 percent of that activity takes place within the city limits.

So this is a collaboration whose time has come and with Monday’s signing, NHADEC and Aero Montreal are cleared for take-off.

For more information on the NHADEC, visit AerospaceNH.com.

 

Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development

 

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