Lockheed Martin CEO Addresses Canadian Aerospace Summit (Video)

Marillyn Hewson, Chairman, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin and Chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association addressed approximately 800 executives and decision-makers from the aerospace industry as well as government and industry leaders at the Canadian Aerospace Summit here today.

In her remarks, Hewson reaffirmed Lockheed Martin’s commitment to Canada’s success, and discussed the importance of government and industry working together to ensure Canada remains an innovation leader.

She highlighted three actions that government and industry leaders should take to ensure a future filled with innovation:

  • Foster an environment of innovative entrepreneurship across the nation;
  • Pursue opportunities in emerging markets to promote economic growth; and
  • Ensure a pipeline of talent goes into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to advance innovation.

Full text of Hewson’s remarks

As I look out across the room, I see the faces of so many valued partners and friends who have taken the special relationship between Canada and the United States into new frontiers on land, on sea, in the sky and into space.

The conference is a terrific way to commemorate past achievements and plan for new ones. So I am delighted to add my personal congratulations to David Gossen as the newly-elected chair of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada. And to add my thanks to John Maris for his service as the outgoing chair of AIAC.

I know what the leadership of AIAC means for Canadian companies and Canadian workers. For the past year, I’ve had the honour of serving as chair of the AIA in the United States. 

The aerospace industry in North America is special. No other industry better represents a future of growth, opportunity and optimism than ours. Our products bring people together, bring nations together and extend the boundaries of innovation and progress. That’s why it is so important for our industry to reach out, engage and speak with one voice to the public and policymakers about our vision for a better tomorrow.

For this reason, I consider it an honour to be here in Canada – a nation that Lockheed Martin has partnered with for more than 75 years.

Our relationship with Canada began with shared values – belief in democracy, human rights and the need to prepare for an emerging global threat.

In the spring of 1938, Nazi Germany annexed Austria. Democratic nations were just beginning to awaken to the territorial ambitions of Adolf Hitler. In response, the British Air Commission turned to America’s aerospace industry for help.

Kelly Johnson from Lockheed Aircraft Corporation answered the call. The legendary aircraft designer quickly took Lockheed’s Super Electra commercial airliner and modified it. He gave it a bomb bay and three machine guns. And then the company agreed to produce up to 250 of these aircraft in just 18 months’ time to help Great Britain stand firm.

The Hudson (Courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
The Hudson (Courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

At the time, of course, the United States was technically neutral – even as the storm clouds gathered over Europe. So Lockheed’s ingenious aircraft had to be delivered through Canada. The aircraft were flown north, landed on U.S. soil and then towed across the border before taking off again for Royal Canadian Air Force facilities. From there, the aircraft were transported by ship to England.

The British called the airplanes “Hudsons.” And they eventually became the first aircraft of American design to destroy an enemy aircraft during World War II.

(See historic footage of the Hudson and hear about the gift aircraft Lockheed Vega employees gave to help the UK war effort. Courtesy of Lockheed Martin and YouTube)

It didn’t take long for the Royal Canadian Air Force to find the Hudsons useful, too. The RCAF was soon using the Lockheed aircraft in a wide array of roles that protected Canadian citizens. Canadian Hudsons were used to hunt enemy submarines, to save lives through search and rescue and to transport cargo.

At our company, we think of the Hudson fondly – in part because it was the first of many Lockheed Martin technologies that would be operated by the Canadian military.

For more than 50 years now, the RCAF has been flying our C-130 cargo aircraft.

The C-130 has been a reliable workhorse used by Canada to carry out combat operations and provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance around the world. That work continues today – and will continue with the advent of the newest model to fly for Canada, the C-130J “Super Hercules.”

C-130J Super Hercules (Courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
C-130J Super Hercules (Courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

Over time, we have seen Canada evolve into one of our most valued partners in the development of new technologies that hold the potential to protect peace and promote progress.

For instance, Canada is one of nine global partner nations contributing to the F-35 program. The F-35 is combat-ready today with the United States Air Force and Marine Corps, and we are immensely proud that it has been selected by 11 allies around the world to meet their defence needs for the next 40 years.

Since the beginning of the program in 2001, more than 110 Canadian companies have contributed to the development and production of the F-35, bringing advanced technology and engineering work to Canada.

Today, Canadian-built components are on every F-35 produced. Canadian industry has been awarded over a billion dollars in industrial work to date, and I’m confident the F-35 will bring significant economic benefits for decades to come.

The F-35 is not the only Lockheed Martin technology contributing to the people and economy of Canada.

Through Sikorsky, we have a strong commercial helicopter business. More than 40 Sikorsky S-76 and S-92 helicopters provide safe and reliable transportation for offshore drilling crews, corporate leaders and critical-care medical patients.

And over the past year and a half, Sikorsky has delivered nine CH-148 Cyclone helicopters to Canadian Forces. The Cyclone will play a key role in Canada’s military modernization, replacing an aging fleet of Sea King helicopters with a state-of-the-art, highly capable rotary-wing asset.

CH-148 Cyclone (Courtesy of The Royal Canadian Air Force)
CH-148 Cyclone (Courtesy of The Royal Canadian Air Force)

Lockheed Martin’s presence in Canada is not limited to the air. We also have a strong legacy of supporting the Royal Canadian Navy as well.

For more than 30 years, we’ve partnered with them to integrate advanced combat systems into HALIFAX class frigates, including a modernization program that began in 2008.

Thanks to the expertise of our engineers, scientists and computer programmers, Lockheed Martin Canada was the only Canadian company to pre-qualify as a combat systems integrator for the Canadian Surface Combatant program. This critical program will provide the Navy with a modernized fleet of ships to carry out a variety of complex missions around the world.

We have more than 900 employees living and working across Canada, from Halifax to Victoria. We support and we encourage all of them to give back to the communities where we work and live.

And employees respond. The Lockheed Martin Canada team contributes thousands of volunteer hours each year at not-for-profit organizations in their communities, and our corporation supports their efforts with hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants annually.

Simply put, Lockheed Martin is committed to Canada’s success. We have heard the call from government and industry that we must work together to ensure Canada is an innovation leader.

To that end, I’d like to discuss three actions that we as government and industry leaders should take to ensure this future.

First, we need to foster an environment of innovative entrepreneurship across the nation. Second, we need to pursue opportunities in emerging markets to promote economic growth. And third, we must ensure that a pipeline of talent is going into science, technology, engineering and math so innovation can advance.

Let me touch on each of these in turn.

First, government and industry each have a role to play to encourage innovators and entrepreneurs.

Minister Bains has put forth a comprehensive and ambitious “Innovation Agenda.” Its goal is to harness Canada’s native talent and resources to position the nation as a global hub for innovation.

Government can play an important role in fostering innovative entrepreneurship by helping Canadian firms get access to foreign markets, by providing modern infrastructure to facilitate high-tech commerce, and by streamlining regulations to encourage investment. All of these actions will enable Canadian innovation under this government’s leadership.

Industry also has a role to play.

At Lockheed Martin, we’re encouraging innovative entrepreneurship in Canada by making investments in promising technologies. Many of these local investments may seem, at first glance, to be outside the scope of our typical research chain. But with every investment, we seek to support Canadian ideas that have the potential to make lasting economic impact.

For instance, we’ve invested in several entrepreneurs who have gone on to successfully scale up their technologies.

Joining us in the audience today is Chekema Prince. Just a few years ago, Chekema was a doctoral student at the University of Waterloo.

Those of you who are long-distance runners may own a pair of compression socks – a knee-high pair of tight socks that are worn to increase circulation in the legs.

Chekema and her colleagues at the university’s Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology had an interesting idea. What if they could take compression socks to the next level by making them “smarter?”

Lockheed Martin made a 1.1 million dollar investment to support Chekema’s research, which enables the socks to automatically sense when they should constrict or release to aid proper blood flow.

Chekema and her teammates have since taken their university research project and launched a company called Pression.

And just a few weeks ago, Chekema was awarded the prestigious Martin Walmsley Award for Entrepreneurship from the Ontario Centres of Excellence, which comes with a $25,000 prize. Congratulations, Chekema.

From left: Michael Nobrega, Chair of the Board, OCE; Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, OCE; Erik Lankin, son of Robert Lankin, CEO, ASi; Chekema Prince, co-founder, Pression; The Hon. Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science
From left: Michael Nobrega, Chair of the Board, OCE; Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, OCE; Erik Lankin, son of Robert Lankin, CEO, ASi; Chekema Prince, co-founder, Pression; The Hon. Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science

We see great potential for Chekema’s business in a variety of commercial applications. Imagine the advantage that Pression’s product could provide for delivery drivers who carry heavy loads, airline pilots who are seated on the flight deck for many hours at a time, or even people with medical conditions that cause poor blood circulation in their legs.

We’re also interested in Chekema’s invention because it’s exactly the kind of revolutionary technology that could help men and women in uniform.

With both government and industry working to find visionaries like Chekema, we can each do our part to foster innovative entrepreneurship and meet our highest ideals.

The second action for our industry is to seek opportunities in emerging and adjacent markets.

As many of you know, our core defence customers face significant budget pressures. Therefore, we must find new ways to expand our customer base.

One way to do this is to create dual-use solutions. In fact, many of the technologies consumers take for granted today started in the defence realm. From satellite communications, to renewable energy solutions, to space exploration – our innovations help connect the world, solve humanity’s most complex challenges and expand our knowledge of the universe.

Space offers many promising opportunities for our industry. Demand for commercial satellite communications and earth imagery is increasing around the world. This is driving investment in space infrastructure and technology.

According to the Space Foundation, at least 19 countries have developed or are in the process of developing spaceports for orbital or suborbital launches.

Space is a frontier of rapid innovation – perfect for Canadian and U.S. ventures.

One of the most recent developments has been smaller, more powerful satellites. Nearly two out of three spacecraft launched last year had a mass below 500 kilograms.

These small satellites are making space more affordable and accessible. They are enabling governments to more precisely conduct disaster monitoring and response. They are helping telecom companies provide global internet connectivity. And they are providing logistics companies more accurate ways to track cargo.

Canada’s aerospace and defence industry has the breadth and depth of experience necessary to meet this rising demand.

Canadians pioneered some of the earliest technology in the Space Age, including the communications antennas for Alan Shepard’s and John Glenn’s spacecraft. And in 1962, Canada became the third nation on earth to design and build a satellite launched into space.

Today, Canada continues to play a leading role in space. Canada was a key partner on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which Lockheed Martin built for NASA. In early September, OSIRIS-REx blasted off from earth on a seven-year round trip journey to retrieve a sample from the asteroid Bennu.

(Learn More, courtesy of Lockheed Martin and YouTube)

The Canadian Space Agency and their industry partners at MDA provided a critical science instrument for this mission – the Laser Altimeter, which will map the asteroid’s surface and help scientists select the spot from which OSIRIS-REx will take its sample.

When OSIRIS-REx returns its sample to earth in 2023, Canada will receive a share of it for scientific research, which is expected to help us better understand the origins of our solar system.

As Canada’s experience has shown, space is an excellent catalyst for international partnership. Government and industry can work together to build upon Canada’s long history of space innovation. It will require strong public and private investments in research and development, collaboration between industry and academia, and open dialogue between space entrepreneurs and government regulators.

I’m confident in Canada’s ability to harness this incredible global opportunity.

Another area of opportunity for our industry is the increasing demand for sustainable products and solutions.

Concerns about climate change are driving policy decisions and consumer preferences. Energy efficiency saves our customers money, and energy-independent technologies open up new opportunities in developing areas of the world.

One project we’re working on at Lockheed Martin that has particular relevance here in Canada is hybrid airships.

As some of you may recall when they made their debut at last year’s summit, hybrid airships are a cross between a blimp and a hovercraft.

(See in Action. Courtesy of Lockheed Martin and YouTube)

Their helium-filled chambers have enough lift to haul up to 21,000 kilograms of cargo, plus up to 19 passengers. And they have enough power to fly at a cruising speed of about 110 kilometres per hour, across a distance of nearly 2,600 kilometres. The Air Cushion Landing System allows the hybrid airship to set down nearly anywhere – on land, water or ice – with no infrastructure needed on the ground.

We believe hybrid airships have the potential to revolutionize remote transportation. Imagine the advantages they could provide for mining companies in Canada’s North, oil companies in Alberta and remote Canadian communities that depend upon expensive airplane or helicopter deliveries for basic necessities.

Hybrid airships burn less than one tenth the fuel of a helicopter per ton, saving our customers money while decreasing their carbon footprint.

We also see immense opportunities for hybrid airships across the globe, considering that more than two-thirds of the world’s land area and more than half the world’s population have no direct access to paved roads. They could provide people in remote areas with lifesaving supplies in the aftermath of a disaster, or open their access to the global economy.

We’re continuing to work with Transport Canada to certify hybrid airships, and we look forward to seeing them in service here in the near future.

We also see great opportunities for our industry to assist Canada with achieving its renewable energy objectives.

At Lockheed Martin Canada, we have partnered with some remote, off-grid communities to establish a pilot program for sustainable energy solutions. To help reduce their reliance on diesel-powered generators, we’re providing them with a comprehensive “microgrid” system.

It begins with our Solar Tilt Axis Roll Tracker – solar panels that rotate to maximize their exposure to the sun and remain free of snow and ice, providing up to 60 percent more energy than fixed solar panels. The energy generated by these panels can then be stored in batteries, along with energy from other renewable sources like wind turbines.

Lockheed Martin’s Solar Tilt Axis Roll Tracker (Courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
Lockheed Martin’s Solar Tilt Axis Roll Tracker (Courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

A software program monitors the system, and automatically switches between battery power and diesel generators.

Once fully implemented, we could see about a 40 percent reduction in the amount of diesel fuel used across four communities, which would also reduce carbon emissions by 160,000 tons per year.

If this “microgrid” pilot program is successful, it could be a significant step toward energy independence and sustainability for small communities in remote areas, and open up new opportunities for people in developing nations.

We’re also exploring opportunities with customers in Canada who need affordable and effective energy storage systems, as well as partners in the region who are seeking to build bioenergy plants that can convert municipal waste into energy.

Tackling a global challenge like energy is a natural extension for our industry. We have an incredible opportunity to apply our talents to help engineer a better tomorrow and make life safer, cleaner and more sustainable for people throughout Canada and across the globe.

Which brings me to my third point – government and industry must work together to encourage young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

To meet the challenges of the 21st century, we will need more STEM professionals.

We must communicate to girls and boys that a career in STEM holds the potential to change the world for the better.

Lockheed Marting Generation Beyond (Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
Lockheed Marting Generation Beyond (Courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

At Lockheed Martin, we’ve found that having our scientists and engineers share their career experiences with young people has a profound impact.

That’s why we’ve partnered with educational institutions like the University of Calgary to set up internship programs, which allow STEM students to work alongside our employees on real programs that are critical to Canada’s future.

In many cases, these student programs become talent pipelines. Over the past two decades, 80 percent of our technical staff at our unmanned systems software business in Alberta have been hired through our university internship program.

We believe the most successful method for motivating future STEM innovators is to inspire them to dream big.

Earlier today, I had the privilege of meeting with a group of remarkable young Canadians. I met with some students between the ages of 14 and 18 who are part of the Youth Sciences Council. The council is organized by Actua – one of our not-for-profit partners led by President and CEO Jennifer Flanagan.

Actua puts on STEM summer camps, workshops and other engagement activities for over 225,000 children across Canada each year.

The children visited Lockheed Martin Canada’s innovation hub – known as the IMPACT Centre – at our facility in Kanata, where they had the opportunity to experience some of the virtual-reality training systems we’re developing in partnership with Carleton University.

IMPACT Centre Infographic
IMPACT Centre Infographic (Courtesy of Lockheed Martin Canada)

Our industry is especially well-positioned to ignite the imagination of young people. 

Last April, Lockheed Martin launched a program called Generation Beyond to inspire children to pursue STEM education by exploring the possibilities of a human journey to Mars.

It builds upon our involvement with every U.S. mission to Mars since the beginning of the space program, including Orion – the spacecraft we’re building for NASA that will transport astronauts to the Red Planet.

Today’s STEM students are tomorrow’s innovative scientists and engineers.

I’m confident they can turn the dream of a human mission to Mars into a reality, and invent the next generation of technologies that will change the way we live and work.

We must do everything we can to make sure they have the skills and the encouragement they need to make it happen.

Building a robust STEM talent pipeline transcends the defence and aerospace industry. Whether government and industry can meet the global demand for STEM graduates in the 21st century will shape the world and our shared progress for decades to come.

(Lockheed Martin: Generation Beyond Mars Experience Bus (Courtesy of Lockheed Martin and YouTube)

In summary, our industry must take action on three fronts. We must encourage innovative entrepreneurship, pursue emerging and adjacent markets, and we must do our part to build up the STEM talent pipeline.

I’m confident that Canada’s government and the nation’s robust aerospace and defence industry can work together to meet these challenges and unleash the human ingenuity that leads to innovation and progress.

Thank you for the opportunity to join you here this afternoon.

On behalf of Lockheed Martin’s over 900 Canadian employees, I want to thank you for your partnership and your trust.

We’re proud to be a part of Canada’s past, and we’re committed to helping this nation succeed in the future. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership for many more years to come. Enjoy the rest of the summit.

– Marillyn Hewson, Chairman, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin and Chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association

Hewson was in Ottawa from Nov 14-15, during which time she visited with over 200 Canadian employees at the facility in Kanata; she participated in a STEM activity with Lockheed Martin Canada’s STEM partner Actua and ten members of its newly established youth leadership council; and she enjoyed a unique tour inside Parliament Hill.

She also met United States Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman as well as over a dozen Canadian industry leaders and innovators, and she completed her visit by delivering a keynote address at the Canadian Aerospace Summit, organized by the Aerospace Industry Association of Canada.

Lockheed Martin logoLockheed Martin Canada, headquartered in Ottawa, is the Canadian-based arm of Lockheed Martin Corporation, a global security and aerospace company employing 98,000 people worldwide.

Lockheed Martin Canada has been Canada’s trusted defence partner for over 75 years specializing in the development, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

The company employs more than 900 employees at major facilities in Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Calgary, and Victoria, working on a wide range of major programs spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors.

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