OCIF to Invest $3.9M in Calgary’s Aerospace Innovation Hub

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Insider Brief:

  • The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund has invested $3.9M to move forward with the Aerospace Innovation Hub.
  • The Hub will provide aerospace innovators and research with crucial resources, business support, and opportunities to validate their technologies in real-world settings.
  • Over the next four years, the AIH is expected to support up to 180 companies through incubator programming and create 150 net new skilled jobs.
  • Image credit: Calgary Economic Development

Calgary, Alberta, Canada is set to establish the Aerospace Innovation Hub (AIH) thanks to a$3.9 million investment over four years from the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) as announced by Calgary Economic Development. The hub will be managed by Innovate Calgary, and include the collaboration of industry partners including WestJet, the Calgary Airport Authority, and Chapter.ai Ventures.

The initiative aims to provide Calgary’s aerospace innovators with crucial resources, business support, and opportunities to validate their technologies in real-world settings. By fostering an environment conducive to growth and innovation, the AIH aligns with Calgary’s economic strategy of positioning itself as a hub for emerging sectors like aerospace, enabling local companies to accelerate and compete on a global scale.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek expressed enthusiasm about the AIH’s potential to transform the global aviation and aerospace industry, emphasizing the importance of attracting talent and industry leaders to Calgary. Over the next four years, the AIH is expected to support up to 180 companies through incubator programming and create 150 net new skilled jobs, developing Calgary’s status as an aerospace center of excellence.

Brad Parry, CEO of OCIF and President and CEO of Calgary Economic Development, highlighted the investment as a means of fortifying Calgary’s aerospace capabilities and facilitating collaboration between innovators and industry players.

The AIH’s partnership with the University of Calgary’s network of industry-specific innovation hubs underscores the commitment to providing researchers, innovators, and startup founders with the resources they need to thrive. Additionally, the physical space provided by the Calgary Airport Authority offers them opportunities to apply their solutions to real-world airport scenarios, while WestJet’s involvement as the anchor airline company further enhances the hub’s credibility.

Chapter.ai Ventures, a venture capital firm newly invested in Calgary, is set to provide crucial capital and investment support to aerospace startups, further fueling innovation in the region. With additional funding from PrairiesCan, the AIH invites entrepreneurs, startups, scale-ups, and corporate partners from the aerospace and advanced manufacturing sectors to join forces and contribute to building a world-renowned aerospace hub in Calgary.

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