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Sustainable mobility: Thales awarded Ontario ’Next Generation’ R&D grant


Thales’s Toronto-based worldwide Center of Excellence, specialized in advanced train control technology for urban rail transit systems, was awarded a $10 million (US) ’Next Generation’ R&D grant today

The grant was awarded by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade for green transportation innovation, under the Province’s Next Generation of Jobs Fund initiative.

“Thales is committed to developing the highest quality technologies and skills here in Canada,” said Marcel de Picciotto, President of Thales Canada. “The awarding of this grant also marks an important step in the life of Thales Canada, it marks the renewal of a partnership established between the province and our rail signalling business over three decades ago.”

The grant supports research and development for Green Transportation. With this grant, Thales will apply $66.5 million (US) to its R&D activity while creating and retaining 300 jobs in its Toronto office over the next five years. Job focus is to improve energy-efficient electric train operations (e.g. metros/subways and light rapid transit), which will result in reduced greenhouse gases and power usage savings through energy regeneration capabilities.

“Our company has always made research and development a priority, and is proud to support the Ontario Government’s ”Go Green“ goals,” said Bruno Cohades, Vice President and Managing Director of Thales’s Rail Signalling activity, in Canada. “Further R&D efforts that facilitate ‘greening’ of rail transit will help Thales stay on the cutting edge of environmentally friendly technology in the highly competitive urban transportation market.”

Since Thales pioneered Communications-Based Train Control in the late ‘70s, the technology has become preferred worldwide to increase passenger service on new and existing lines of growing cities. More than half the world’s population now lives in cities, meaning green projects focused on these areas are even more crucial. Urban populations are expanding at the rate of one million people every week, with Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean experiencing the fastest growth. Thirty of the largest cities in the world are equipped with Thales signalling systems, moving millions of passengers everyday and contributing to sustainable mobility.

Notes to editors

Thales’s technology and efficient use of rail transit can be summarized as positive impact towards climate change, energy conservation, air contaminant reduction, automobile toxins reduction and overall ‘green logistics.’

About Thales

Thales is a leading international electronics and systems group, addressing Aerospace and Space, Defence and Security markets worldwide. The Group’s civil and military businesses develop in parallel and share a common base of technologies to serve a single objective: the security of people, property and nations. Thales’s leading-edge technology is supported by 22,500 R&D engineers who offer a capability unmatched in Europe to develop and deploy field-proven mission-critical information systems. The Group builds its growth on its unique multidomestic strategy based on trusted partnerships with national customers and market players, while leveraging its global expertise to support local technology and industrial development. Thales employs 68,000 people in 50 countries with 2008 revenues of €12.7 billion.


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