I stood amongst some serious defence materiel and the undulation cacophony of CANSEC 2017 as Gabe Batstone met old friends and industry contacts alike and was struck by how much innovation I saw around me; Drone tech, optics, and simulation software to name a few. I consider myself fortunate to have entered into an arena with such tireless thought leadership. It was my first trip to CANSEC and I certainly hope it won’t be my last.

I had listened to the Honorable Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan speak about Canada’s commitment to NATO and NORAD, witnessed the Honorable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development, unveil the Innovation Wall at the EY Centre, and stood by as Gabe walk onstage for Lockheed Martin’s official announcement of our partnership on the C130J project. All this before noon on the first day of the show.

Over the next 48 hours we met with representatives of Lockheed Martin, Babcock, Rolls-Royce, Boeing, and officials from the Royal Canadian Navy and the Department of National Defence. I saw collaboration and innovation in equal measure and thought that if the future of blue-collar work can be shaped it would be in places like these where the moulds would be made.

It would seem that the need for improved productivity and increased safety in the blue-collar workforce is needed now more than ever. The contextere team believes that the proper application of artificial intelligence, data curation, and augmented reality can make all of the difference. Human resourcefulness and ingenuity can meld seamlessly with technological innovation to empower the blue-collar worker.

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