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News Release

November 1, 2007

Major Boost Given to Unmanned Vehicle Industry in Medicine Hat

Medicine Hat – Rural Alberta’s Development Fund (RADF) announced funding today of three million dollars to sponsor the on-going development of an Unmanned Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Medicine Hat. A large portion of the funding awarded to the Canadian Centre for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (CCUVS) is contingent on CCUVS attracting additional investors.

There is a growing worldwide market for air, land and sea unmanned vehicle systems. The not-for-profit CCUVS was created to find solutions to the technical, operational and regulatory challenges that prevent Alberta and Canada from capitalizing on this demand. The Centre of Excellence is to be the research, design, development, evaluation and commercialization hub for Canada’s unmanned vehicle industry.

“Our contribution gives Medicine Hat and Alberta a chance to expand into a global market that is exploding. We are excited about the possibilities this holds for rural economic growth,” said RADF Chair Bob Clark, who made the announcement at the Meggitt Defense Systems Canada’s manufacturing plant in Medicine Hat.

“Alberta has always been known for its leadership and pioneering spirit,” said Iris Evans, Minister of Employment, Immigration and Industry. “This investment in CCUVS puts us at the forefront of an evolving sector that holds great potential for our province and Canada.”

“We have made an excellent start and this funding is crucial to our ongoing success as an innovative national engine of economic growth,” Don Matthews, President and CEO, CCUVS.

Rural Alberta’s Development Fund is a not-for-profit company that inspires innovation, collaboration and growth across rural Alberta. It is funded by the Government of Alberta and is a key implementation initiative of Alberta’s Rural Development Strategy. More information is available at www.ruralalbertasfund.com

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Direct media enquiries to:

  • Godfrey Huybregts, Director of Communications, Rural Alberta’s Development Fund.
    T: 1.877.940.7233 C: 780.953.0525
  • Sterling Cripps, Marketing and Program Development V-P, Canadian Centre for Unmanned Vehicle Systems.
    T: 403.488.7224


BACKGROUNDER

UNMANNED VEHICLE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE
Fund contribution is $3M

This project supports the growth of an unmanned vehicle systems industry in southern Alberta. RADF’s funding will ensure on-going development of Canada’s first Unmanned Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Medicine Hat by the Canadian Centre for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (CCUVS). A significant portion of RADF’s contribution is contingent on CCUVS attracting additional investors.

CCUVS is a not-for-profit company that provides unbiased, joint use facilities for companies, governments and universities who want to research, develop, commercialize, test and evaluate unmanned vehicles for air, ground or marine use. There is a growing international need for such a facility and CCUVS is building on the strengths of the unmanned vehicle technology cluster that already exists in southern Alberta. Supporters of the project include Meggitt Defense Systems Canada; MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates; Palliser Economic Partnership; Economic Development Alliance of Southeast Alberta; City of Medicine Hat; Government of Alberta; Defense Research and Development Canada; Serco; Transport Canada; Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment in Cold Lake.

Expected results include:

  • Economic growth, increased employment and increased investment in southern Alberta.
  • Further diversification of southern Alberta’s economy in a high technology industry.
  • New opportunities for technology growth in existing resource and agriculturally driven sectors.
  • Expanding infrastructure that attracts and can accommodate new companies, technology and people.
  • Creation of a model that will draw more investment from provincial, federal and private sources.

Contact: Sterling Cripps, V-P, Marketing and Program Development, Canadian Centre for Unmanned Vehicle Systems.
T: 403.488.7224
sterlingcripps@ccuvs.com
Website: www.ccuvs.com