The New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium have signed off on an agreement with Aero Montreal that lays the foundation for collaboration between the state and one of world's premier aerospace clusters, officials said.

The signing took place earlier this month at the Aerospace Innovation Forum, attended by more than 800 people from the Canadian and international aerospace industry.

“This is a big day for NHADEC and the state of New Hampshire,” says Christopher Wrenn of Gentex Corp. in Manchester, chairman of the export consortium, which was organized last March.

“It’s important because we are such a young organization and it gives us the opportunity to partner with an organization that has a long history in aerospace. Our members will learn a lot, but we have a lot to offer to Aero Montreal,” he said.

Calling it a “strategic collaboration,” Aero Montreal President Suzanne Benoit said the agreement is a first step in forming a Quebec-New England aerospace corridor.

“The NHADEC is definitely a partner of choice,” she said. “This strategic collaboration will provide major opportunities for Quebec’s aerospace industry by encouraging trade and fostering partnerships between our two aerospace sectors.”

About 300 New Hampshire companies and manufacturers have ties to the aerospace and defense industries. The consortium was organized by the International Trade Resource Center last March to encourage and strengthen export sales. There are 70 member companies in the organization and the membership continues to grow.

Home to companies like Bombardier, Bell Helicopter, and Pratt & Whitney Canada, Quebec’s largest industry is aerospace-related, and 98 percent of Quebec’s aerospace activity is located in Montreal, just a few hours north of New Hampshire.

Canada is the state’s largest trading partner.

“This signing really is an indication of the momentum we are building as a cluster,” said Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development. “Just as aerospace and defense are key industries here, it is in Montreal as well. As we grow this collaboration and grow our partnership, we’ll develop new opportunities for New Hampshire businesses.”

The agreement establishes preferred relations between the two organizations and encourages collaboration on topics such as training, research, joint trade missions and supplier development initiatives.

The Division of Economic Development, part of the New Hampshire Department for Resources and Economic Development, is the single point of contact for New Hampshire businesses needing assistance and resources to grow and thrive, as well as for out-of-state companies looking to expand or relocate in the state.


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