As original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) seek innovative Canadian technology to fulfill their future value propositions, trade associations have been crafting new ways to showcase ideas and help members understand the processes of the government’s defence procurement strategy.

Last week, the Southern Ontario Defence Association (SODA) hosted its second annual Made in Canada conference in London. The event attracted 185 people from across the region and the province to hear presentations from a number of OEMs and systems integrators. Topics included advice on how to do business with OEMS as well as information about upcoming supply chain opportunities and the technologies each one will require.

Captain (N) Richard Feltham, director of Naval Major Crown Projects, outlined the Royal Canadian Navy’s 2015 capital investment plan as well as the RCN’s priorities for its three major shipbuilding projects – Arctic offshore patrol ship, joint support ship and surface combatant – and some of its SATCOM, weapons, electronic warfare, underwater warfare and unmanned systems requirements.

SODA conferenceThe event also featured four workshops on the controlled goods program, leveraging value propositions, government funding, and advanced manufacturing technologies.

Heather Pilot, a member of the SODA board of directors and the program organizer, said planning is already underway for 2016.