A digital aerospace innovation ecosystem

How can we forge a closer relationship between the aerospace and the digital industries, which would allow Quebec to assert technological leadership in these two areas? By creating an efficient aerodigital innovation ecosystem. This is one of the paths put forward by a study coordinated by researchers from Mosaic – HEC Montréal.


The Digital Aerospace research project was initiated by the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec (CRIAQ). It aims to foster the development of Quebec's aerospace industry by promoting a merger of this sector's strengths with those of the digital industry.

The project has brought together more than thirty researchers from HEC Montréal and Polytechnique Montréal. They have implemented an innovative approach which included the conducting of 70 interviews and two co-design workshops, in order to involve many stakeholders from both these sectors.


  • According to the researchers, while the two industrial clusters are strong and present in Montréal and Quebec, their links are weak: they are client-supplier type relationships rather than partnerships that are favorable to innovation.
  • However, a merger of these two clusters might lead to significant reciprocal value propositions. The aerospace sector could, for example, derive a reduction in its costs, quality gains as well as a renewal of its product and service offerings. For its part, the digital industry could, for instance, expand its field of experimentation, take on new creative challenges and take advantage of consolidation opportunities.
  • The researchers therefore recommend a clear evolution of the modes of collaboration between the stakeholders of both fields and propose the creation of an innovation ecosystem in aerospace-aeronautics as well as in data science-artificial intelligence.

An innovation ecosystem is an interconnected system which brings together stakeholders with diverse expertise and resources and that promotes breakthrough innovation: companies (including startups and SMEs), research centers, consulting firms, etc.


Patrick Cohendet

“The goal is to initiate a movement that will foster this closer relationship between the aerospace and digital industries, rather than letting it be the by-product of random individual initiatives. This construction phase has been the subject of this project.” 

Patrick Cohendet, Professor, Department of International Business, Co-director of Mosaic


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