About the program

Are you a Canadian startup looking to test your technological solution with a major player in the aerospace and defence industry? 

Developed in partnership with Centech, the Safran Explore Canada program aims to identify Canadian startups and scaleups that can collaborate with Safran in several strategic areas and help the Group meet the challenges of decarbonization and digitalization in the aerospace industry.

This six-month program gives innovators the opportunity to develop their ideas through specific projects and work directly with the Safran teams to integrate their technology into Safran products, processes and services.  


We are looking for ambitious and motivated companies who want to accelerate the commercialization of their technological solution and participate in the transformation of the aerospace sector by meeting the following challenges: 

Next generation sensors for next generation products

How new sensor technology could be used in the aeronautics, space and defense industries to enhance product performance?


  • Sensor using new materials or new technologies (silicon photonic chips, optic sensors, etc.)
  • System in Package (SiP) and Optimizing size, weight, power or cost of sensors (SWaP-C)
  • Optimization of PCB interconnection density (PCB, printed electronics, alternative substrates, additive manufacturing, high density interconnect (HDI), 3D interconnect) to minimize the space occupied by components and integration of PCBs into the equipment
  • New innovative sensors for aviation and space activities such (cooled, cryogenics and other characteristics)

Autonomous collaborative systems and AI optimization

What functions and systems can improve cooperative and collaborative work between autonomous collaborative systems?  How to optimize AI for better performance and efficiency?


  • Enhance the machine’s detection capabilities (optronics, etc.) 
  • Increase the interpretation and analysis of data collected by autonomous system’s sensors (Intelligence (AI) / Processing (hardware, software, AI) / Navigation (sensors) 
  • Increase the collaborative capabilities between UAV (aerial), UGV (ground) and/or UUV (underwater) 
  • Find AI solutions, for example, drone swarm guidance, obstacle avoidance, recognition, trajectory anticipation of ground vehicles, cooperation between aircraft pilots and nearby drones, safety altitude control, altitude management, etc. 
  • Optimizing Edge AI integration for autonomous systems 

New Space, New issues

How can we meet the challenges of new space in terms of space electronics, propulsion and communications?


  • New optronics and on-board payloads capabilities: optical and laser communication (space-space, space-earth, etc.), space optics, photonic integrated circuit, secure quantum key communication 
  • Onboard AI: onboard data processing, optimized communication and data transfer 
  • Space Situational Awareness (SSA): space traffic management 
  • Disruptive satellite propulsion solutions (iodine, water, etc.)   
  • Optimization of space electronics and development of new technologies that can withstand high and low temperatures, radiation (Radtol/Radhard), pressure and other space conditions 
  • Precise time distribution solutions (new generation clocks)   

Data management for advanced manufacturing and maintenance

How can supply chain and in-house data be used to ensure finished goods are delivered on time? How to exploit data to support condition-based maintenance for aeronautical equipment structures?


  • Collection and analysis of external and internal data, from raw materials to final delivery and end of product life cycle (IoT, AI, data visualization and traceability, etc.)
  • Solutions to interconnect suppliers’ and Safran’ manufacturing/production/monitoring platforms or ERPs
  • Capture, transmit and analyze data for health management of aeronautical equipment structure (sensors, condition-based maintenance, deep learning and machine learning, etc.)
  • New technologies for real life digital modelling and asset management of aeronautical equipment in service
  • Inforce traditional non-destructive testing and inspection processes with AI methods that can trace data/results to parts/processes for aeronautical equipment structure in OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations)  

Open challenge: Towards a more sustainable and eco-responsible aerospace industry

How can we accelerate the transition of the aerospace sector into more sustainable aviation by exploiting new technologies, new processes and new materials?


  • Improve manufacturing processes (energy efficiency, digitalization)
  • New materials (more efficient, more durable, more ecological, …)
  • Improving end-of-life product management (new recycling processes, …)
  • Developing new, more sustainable fuels for the aerospace industry of tomorrow
  • Or any other technological proposal

Why choose the Safran Explore Canada program?

If selected to join the Safran Explore Canada program, you will get to demonstrate the benefits of your solution to Safran and develop a privileged collaboration with one of its business units.

You’ll also strengthen your knowledge of the aerospace market with the help of Safran technical experts, and work with its business coaches on taking your company to the next level. 


Collaborate with Safran’s technical experts to implement a pilot project funded by one of Safran’s business units.  


Access to on-demand coaches to work on your business proposal to Safran and on your company’s development (Centech, Safran University & Aerogarage)  


Visibility to Safran’s decision makers and innovation managers during the whole program so you can improve the chances of long-term cooperation with Safran.  


Access to a network of high-tech investors via Safran Corporate Ventures and Centech. The Safran Corporate Ventures investment team will analyze your company for a potential investment. 

Selection criteria

  • You are a startup or scaleup company incorporated in Canada
  • You have developed at least one functional prototype, ready for testing, that responds to one of the challenges of the Safran Explore Canada program.  
  • You are available between June and December 2024 to participate in our different activities and follow-up meetings for an average of 6 hours per month (see FAQ for more details).  
  • You have not previously collaborated with Safran


Calogy Solutions

Calogy Solutions is proud to collaborate with Safran to improve thermal management of zero-emission propulsion systems for the aircraft of the future. This technologically fruitful collaboration also offers a showcase for our startup in the European aerospace market. This program gave us access to training and management tools that consolidated our processes in addition to benefiting from solid technical expertise.”


Jérémy Moriot

Calogy Director of Innovation



“The Safran H2 explore program allowed our startup to take a giant leap – most importantly, we were able to get into a close relationship with Safran. Resulting into a pilot project and the clear plan to extend collaboration, this manifests a strong pillar for the future of our company. Such program gave us the opportunity to participate in several events, as we were invited by Safran, and gave us access to relevant knowledge on business, legals etc.”


Alex Plebuch

CEO & Co-Founder of Deltavision



Application period

March 26 April 29  


Online interviews with Safran and Centech teams

May 23-24, 2024


Announcement of companies selected

End of May 2024


Program kick-off

June 11-12, 2024


Use cases and pilot projects reviewed and validated

September 2024


Innovation Showcase to present results to Safran

November 2024

Want to learn more?

Sign up for our virtual information sessions!

French session

April 16 2024 at noon


English Session

April 17 2024 at noon


Selection process

As a first step, each company must express its interest by completing the short application form. Interested companies can then attend an information session in French and English to learn more about the program, meet program partners and ask questions. 

In a second phase, companies that wish to apply for the program will be asked to complete a more detailed application form. They will describe their company in full, explain the added value of their technological solution, and propose a use case for their first collaboration with Safran.  

The first selection phase will take place in May 2024, based on the information and documentation provided by each candidate. Participants that are selected during this first phase will receive an e-mail inviting them to the final jury session, which will take place by video call with Safran and Centech teams (20 minutes per company, including 5 minutes of pitch and 10 minutes of questions). 

The jury will be formed by Safran experts in business and corporate ventures, and by Centech representatives. Companies will be evaluated on the relevance of the use case they present, on the added value of their solution, and on the feasibility of a collaboration with Safran. 

Program structure

The Safran Explore Canada program is a corporate accelerator of Safran. Its objective is to accelerate business, cooperation and investment opportunities between startups, scaleups and Safran. This program is not an incubation program and is not designed to support early-stage startups. However, support will be offered individually to each company according to their needs.  

The program includes three key moments: a startup meeting (in person at the offices of Centech, in Montreal, Quebec), a mid-term alignment meeting (virtual) and a final presentation event to demonstrate results and discuss next steps with Safran (in person, location to be defined).  

During the program, regular virtual meetings will be organized between the selected companies and different key players at Safran to facilitate the implementation of collaborations, for an average of 6 hours a month. Please note that the frequency of meetings may vary at certain key moments in the program, especially at the program’s launch and at its conclusion. 

Companies will benefit from on-demand coaching to help them structure their value proposition and business model and ensure the viability of their collaboration with Safran. Group workshops (master classes) will also be offered to help companies in their development. These workshops will be led by external experts from the Safran network, from Centech and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

At the end of the program, companies will be invited to take part in an “Innovation Showcase” where they will present their technological solution, their use case and the next steps for cooperation with Safran. Presentations will be made in front of Safran decision makers and innovation managers, to provide increased visibility and maximize the chances of developing a long-term cooperation with Safran. 

Is it possible to apply for more than one challenge?

Companies may select only one specific challenge when applying to the Safran Explore Canada program. Please note that the “open challenge” will allow the selection of a single “favourite” company chosen by Safran. 

Online or in person?

Program activities, including follow-ups, coaching and meetings with Safran’s technical experts and innovation managers, will take place mainly online, to keep travel costs to a minimum and preserve the environment.  

Please note that space will be available for in-person meetings at Centech in Montreal (Quebec, Canada). 

The kick-off meeting (June 11-12, 2024) will be held in person in Montreal, and the final “Innovation Showcase” (November 2024, date to be defined) will be held in person as well (location to be defined). 

Equity and expenses

This program does not require any equity investment from participating companies, nor does it charge any program fees to those participants.  

Certain travel expenses may be covered by Mitacs at the request of companies (if applicable), in the event of travel to France for the final “Innovation Showcase” event in November 2024. 

Travel expenses for attending the kick-off meeting in Montreal on June 11 and 12, 2024, will be defrayed by the participating companies. 


No transfer of intellectual property rights, in whole or in part, will be made without the prior written consent of the participating companies. Where necessary, intellectual property will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis, depending on the implemented projects. 


Participating companies will be required to sign a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement stipulating the main conditions governing any potential disclosure of confidential information, governing and protecting discussions and exchanges of information between the participating company and Safran. 

Legal information

We invite you to consult the program’s legal notices.

What is Safran Corporate Ventures?

Safran Corporate Ventures was created to connect Safran to the ecosystem of young innovative companies in the aviation, space and defense sectors. Safran Corporate Ventures supports these companies by providing Group expertise and financial resources for their development: access to an international network of experts, commercial and industrial exposure, implementation of commercial or development agreements between the portfolio’s startups and the Group’s various entities. 


As part of the program, Safran Corporate Ventures will facilitate exchanges between the selected companies and Safran’s business units, to accelerate communication and collaboration with teams and technical experts in charge of challenges.  

With an investment budget of 130 million euros, Safran Corporate Ventures bases its investment strategy on the following underlying principles:  

  • Identifying the top disruptive technologies and innovations worldwide. 
  • Actively investing alongside top co-investors, financial investors, and/or other corporate venture capital firms. 
  • Providing long-term support for companies, both financially and through help and advice from Safran experts. 

Ready to accelerate the commercialization of your technological solution and participate in the transformation of the aerospace sector?

About Safran 

Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defence and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 92,000 employees and sales of 23.2 billion euros in 2023, and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets. Safran undertakes research and development programs to maintain the environmental priorities of its R&T and innovation roadmap. 

About Centech 

Centech is an ecosystem that propels technological innovation and entrepreneurship projects from science and engineering. Open to all, Centech was founded in 1996 by the École de technologie supérieure. Thanks to its programs, Centech acts as a real instrument of growth, thus creating one of the largest concentrations of technology entrepreneurs in the start-up phase in Quebec and Canada.Since 2018, Centech has its own open innovation hub, the Collision Lab, where large companies are supported in their open innovation initiatives in collaboration with technology startups.