By Scott Simmie
Any major conference is only as good as its content. And, it could be said with equal truth, as its Sponsors. Unmanned Systems Canada / Systèmes Télécommandés Canada has been tremendously fortunate in attracting top-flight companies willing to share their generosity be sponsoring UnmannedCanada.19. One of those we are very grateful to is Peraton Canada, Gold Sponsor of UC19Ottawa.
Peraton: Thank You, from every single member of USC-STC.
There’s also a broader “Thank You” for another important reason: Peraton is Canada’s only prime contractor for avionics systems and automated test equipment keeping our CF-18s flying.
Peraton Canada Corp. is a leading provider of In-Service Support/Integrated Logistic Support to the Canadian Armed Forces and is Canada’s only prime contractor for avionics systems and automated test equipment support of a fighter platform. In September 2018 Peraton, Calgary, celebrated the opening of a $2.5 million expansion to its Calgary facility. Peraton’s 76,000 sq. ft building has now expanded to add an engineering lab.
Peraton’s corporate headquarters are in Herndon, VA and regional headquarters in Calgary, AB. The company employs approximately 3,500 personnel responsible for annual revenues of US$1.1 B. with an estimated 100 personnel in Canada, most of those employees are in Calgary.
The company also has a tremendous asset in Denean Tomlin, the company’s ITB/Offsets Manager here in Canada. In 1986 Canada launched the Industrial Regional Benefit (IRB) policy. In early 2014, however, Canada’s Defence Procurement Strategy announced that the IRB policy would be changed into the Industrial Technological Benefit (ITB) Policy. The goal, says Industry Canada <https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/086.nsf/eng/home>, is to ensure that “This change will help ensure that defence and security procurements going forward are better leveraged to create jobs and economic growth in Canada.”
The formula is somewhat complicated, but basically works like this: If a company obtains a government procurement from Canada – let’s say it’s $1B to build fighter jets – the equivalent amount must be spent on economic activities within Canada. Ottawa doesn’t want all of that economic activity going out the door.
But it’s unavoidable that some of the components and technologies will have to come from suppliers in other countries. Let’s say 20 per cent of that $1B is spent outside of Canada. Because of the existing policy, the company is obligated to spend the full amount of the procurement in Canada. So, in this case (and there are incentives), the successful bidder would be required to make up that $200M on another investment or economic development in Canada – bringing the total to $1B.
Denean Tomlin is the point person for finding optimal ways to invest and discharge the company’s ITB obligations, and in ways that will benefit both Peraton and Canada.
“It’s not easy to follow,” she explains. “But it has a huge economic impact in a positive way to the Canadian economy.”
When Tomlin attended UC18Vancouver, she was not yet working for Peraton. She identified some ITB project opportunities and partnerships and had the opportunity to present them to industry. Soon after that conference, she was working for Peraton.
“I certainly can’t speak to all of the opportunities that the UAS industry creates, but within defence and security we are counting on the use of unmanned vehicles in many capacities,” Tomlin says. “We can use these innovative vehicles and their capabilities in a variety of areas that will benefit the defence environment, including ensuring reducing risk to people’s lives.
Innovation and developing technology via ITB investment is one of the reasons Peraton decided to be a Gold Sponsor for this year’s UC19Ottawa. Peraton is also going to be on stage as part of the Procurement Panel, and forecasts that there will be significant business with Canadian Unmanned businesses in the future.
“It’s an opportunity to tell the industry that Peraton is very interested in this area of business, and that’s one of the reasons we’re here.”
There’s another reason – a significant one – and you’ll soon hear all about it.