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Budget 2017: GARDN Applauds the Government’s Established Priorities on Clean Technologies

Mar 23, 2017

Today the Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the 2017-2018 Liberals’ federal budget in which an amount of up to $950 million over five years to be provided in business-led innovation superclusters that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth. Budget 2017 includes a particular focus on the clean technology sector, proposing more than $2.2 billion, on a cash basis, to support clean technology research, development, demonstration and adoption. In addition, green aviation fits well under research and development (R&D) for clean energy and transportation and other specific measures to be developed by Transport Canada.

At the Green Aviation Research & Aviation Network (GARDN), we applaud the government’s established priorities on clean technologies and innovation through R&D as we aim to promote the development of green technologies for the Canadian aerospace industry.

Aviation impacts community noise, air quality, water quality, energy usage and climate change. While over the past 30 years, noise reduction and fuel burn improvements of approximately 70% + have been achieved through aircraft technologies and operational improvements, significant improvements can still be made through concerted efforts, research and mitigation strategies.

Through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the aerospace industry has set up very ambitious aspirational goals:

  • 2% fuel efficiency improvement per year, and
  • Carbon neutral growth for 2020

Recognizing the importance of R&D in fuel efficiency as well as alternative fuels for aviation will enable international air transport operations with a lower environmental impact, both in terms of local air quality and the global climate.

It is in this context that GARDN increases Canada’s aerospace competitiveness while reducing the environmental footprint of the next generation of aircraft, engines and avionics systems developed in Canada, through R&D in technology and biofuels for instance.

Budget 2017 supports innovation in key growth industries—clean technology, digital and agri-food—with new measures that will improve access to financing, encourage investment, support the demonstration of technologies and build the capacity necessary for Canadians to take advantage of growth opportunities and create good, well-paying jobs.

During its route, GARDN has been appointed partner taking action in the Government of Canada’s 2016-2019 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, and has been mentioned in the final report of the Working Group on Clean Technology, Innovation and Jobs.

We have also worked closely with the Innovation Agenda, participating directly into 2 areas for action:

  • Developing world-leading clusters in areas where it is known as a hotbed of innovation
  • Grow companies and accelerate clean growth

We consider the 2017-2018 Liberals’ budget as an exceptional opportunity to advance sustainable development in R&D in the aerospace sector in Canada. The Canadian aerospace industry can make a substantial contribution to the work undertaken by the federal government.


Sylvain Cofsky
GARDN Executive Director