HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — Bluedrop Performance Learning Inc. (TSX-V: BPLI) and its subsidiary, Bluedrop Training & Simulation Inc. (“Bluedrop”), secured an investment from Boeing to develop a next-generation Special Mission Aviator Ramp Trainer (SMART) for the V-22 Osprey. The program was funded under the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), Investment Framework Transaction program by Boeing. The program includes funding to Bluedrop, engineering support from Boeing and a three-year commitment to support the development and ongoing sales of the new product within the Boeing global supply chain. This is the second Boeing investment in Bluedrop—the first successful project was to develop a next-generation Special Mission Aviator Ramp Trainer (SMART) for the CH-47 Chinook.
The development phase is expected to take between 12 and 18 months to build a full-sized virtual reality ramp trainer with a high fidelity immersive environment, and enhanced specific mission capabilities including ramp operation, hoisting systems, gunnery systems and various mission critical procedural training capabilities. The new SMART is expected to interface to the Boeing’s cockpit training devices to allow full interactive crew training and mission scenario training.
Bluedrop will develop the associated hardware and software from its recently opened Training and Simulation production center located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The team of software and hardware engineers will be headed by Jean-Claude Siew, Bluedrop’s vice president of Technology and Simulation. “Boeing has again shown its full support of Canadian businesses in the defence and aerospace domain,” said Jean-Claude Siew. “We are grateful for the trust that Boeing has shown in a company like Bluedrop to contribute to military special operations training that requires latest simulation technology to achieve mission rehearsals and collective training at a fraction of the current costs.”
“Boeing has consistently supported the Canadian aerospace industry throughout its 100-year long partnership, contributing more than CAD$4 billion of economic benefit to Canada each year working with a strong team of partners and suppliers,” said Roger Schallom, senior manager, International Strategic Partnerships, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “To date, Boeing has completed more than CAD$11 billion in IRB and ITB commitments, providing opportunities for innovation and technology collaboration and export assistance for Canadian industry.”
This project was approved by ISED as an Investment Framework Transaction as part of the Industrial Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy. The program provides incentives for prime contractors to invest in research and development as well as commercialization with an emphasis on export opportunities. “This project is a great example of how our government’s policy is motivating the development and growth of Canadian small and medium businesses to spur innovation, boost economic growth and create good jobs,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
“I am extremely pleased with the long-term vision of this program and the support we have received from both ISED and Boeing,” said Derrick Rowe, Executive Chairman of Bluedrop. “The Boeing team has been tremendous to work with on this program and our ongoing Chinook program. This project will add the V-22 Osprey to our portfolio of crew training devices and a whole new level of capabilities that will enhance our existing products. Building these relationships and new markets takes time and trust. The ISED Investment Framework Transaction program is clearly working and is a powerful tool to encourage partnerships between Canadian companies and OEMs such as Boeing.”
The project was officially announced jointly with Boeing today at the Bluedrop booth at CANSEC, Ottawa.