Glenn Copeland President, ADIANS

The Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Nova Scotia was established in 1995, and rebranded to ADIANS, Advancing Nova Scotia's Marine, Aerospace and Defence Industries, in 2012. ADIANS is an industry-driven, not for profit association representing Nova Scotia's aerospace, marine and defence-related sector interests advocating on behalf of more than 60 companies, many operating in a dynamic and growth oriented export market. ADIANS' core mission is to identify industry potential and optimize the growth of business opportunities within the Aerospace, Defence and Security, Ocean Technology, Unmanned Vehicle Systems, Marine Industries and Shipbuilding sectors. ADIANS works closely with public sector partners and agencies (federal, provincial and municipal), to maximize opportunities and increase work share through Industrial Regional Benefits (IRBs), a mechanism that represents significant opportunity through the use of direct offsets available within major government defence procurements. ADIANS also provides for education and awareness for its members through provision of professional development opportunities, participation at events and seminars, supplier development conferences and industry days, all designed to assist the industry in gaining new skills and enabling compliancy with government contract requirements.

Today, approximately 35 per cent of DND equipment assets are stationed in Nova Scotia or the Atlantic region. Billions of dollars in major crown procurement, on top of existing operations and maintenance programs, are already realized. The Maritime Helicopter Program, the Halifax Class Modernization Program and the National Shipbuilding and Procurement Strategy (NSPS) all have a major foothold here in Nova Scotia. Looking specifically at NSPS, it's been a year since the announcement of one of the biggest industry contract awards in the history of the country, a mammoth undertaking in which the lion's share of that highly technical scope of work is slated to take place in our province with the design and construction of the Combat classes of warships. Many are eager to find the obvious signs associated with fabrication but make no mistake, there is activity. An undercurrent of energy is taking hold within the A&D industries and this energy is resonating down through the companies that will be key providers within a critical supply chain. Proposal and design submission planning is underway and alliances are being forged while vendors are being sought for their products and expertise. Many of the world's specialists in combat systems and hull design are actively researching this province as they look for inroads and opportunities to partner.

In short, Nova Scotia is on everyone's map. 2013 looks to be the start of a breakthrough period. The Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship design is underway and tendering for the Combat Systems Integration (CSI) component will begin this summer with the Canadian Surface Combatant work to follow shortly thereafter. Upwards of 45-55 per cent of the focus of this $30-billion program is related to CSI - and the massive economic spinoff associated with this scope of work is just around the corner. While the future is extremely positive, the challenges can seem to equal the magnitude of the prospects. There is a balance in preparing to embark on a once-in-a-generation project, yet being completely ready at award announcement. Nova Scotia boasts a talented workforce operating across the spectrum of A&D but ensuring this talent remains resident during the intervening period is not an inexpensive proposition. The province is aware of this challenge and has begun to engage policies that support the growth and retention of highly-skilled labour and are collaborating as an innovative partner in finding ways to retain this work force over the next two years. Labour talent is key and must be viewed as our strategic reserve of potential future growth. While NSPS is at the fore as mentioned above, opportunities don't end there. Many of our provincial companies will continue to execute on contracts in 2013 as world leaders within sectors that include Aerospace materials and composites, aero-engine production and overhaul, satellite imagery, cartography, microsystems, unmanned vehicle systems, cabling and underwater sensors.

To find more about the industry, please contact ADIANS through our Managing Director, Ms. Catherine MacDonald at catherine.macdonald@adians.ca or our Executive Director, Mr. Gordon Gale at gordon.gale@adians.ca

Resource Insights, Chronicle Herald, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Feb 20th, 2013