At the world’s largest (virtual) event for unmanned and autonomous systems, you’ll find your momentum, that something extra that gives you a competitive edge – your X factor.

Only AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2020 allows you to discover groundbreaking innovation, immerse yourself in new ideas, gain new perspectives and experience everything you need to elevate your business from the comfort of your own home.
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Important Dates and Information

Virtual Platform Launch

Note: only registered attendees can access the virtual platform and virtual booth. 

September 28, 2020

Virtual Platform Coffee Talk

  • Zoom Link 
  • Meeting ID: 865 9877 2303
  • Passcode: 447699
  • Phone: +1 301 715 8592

October 1, 2020

1:00pm EST

XPONENTIAL 2021 Rebook

Rebook will take place during XPONENTIAL 2020. You will receive an email by Thursday, October 5 with your rebook time. This will be the time that you can log into the system and select your physical booth location for XPONENTIAL 2021 scheduled for Atlanta May 3-6.

October 7-8, 2020

Use our Promotional Toolkit to share your participation at XPONENTIAL and give your customers a discounted registration with code EXHOFFXPO20!


Alma,  QC 
  • Booth: Virtual Booth

Canadian pioneer in the civil and commercial RPAS industry, the CED is working to develop, manage and promote a wide range of services, expertise and skills related to the RPAS sector. The CED also manages the largest BVLOS flight zones and airspace for RPAS in Canada (CYR) which can be activated on request to conduct test flights in a safe environment. With its Qualia project currently under development, the first Canadian R&D, training and qualification test site for RPAS, the CED is the only testing complex offering cutting-edge infrastructure and equipment allowing the realization of more than twenty scenarios. Qualia’s site allows companies to validate and demonstrate their expertise, develop their products and train their staff.

 Press Releases

  • Alma (Quebec), septembre 26, 2019 – Once again this year, nearly 150 players in the aeronautics industry met at the CED for the second edition of TECH DEMO, where the remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) community get together to share technological advances.

    During this event, which took place on septembre 25 and 26 in Alma (Quebec), participants learned more about the latest developments from Transport Canada, the Royal Canadian Air Force & Royal Canadian Navy, and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). They also attended various conferences exploring drone image recognition, multi-mission systems, the niche of excellence in civil and commercial UAVs, ways to reduce time to market through drone simulation and trends in the drone ecosystem.

    Guests also had the opportunity to discuss issues related to operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), and take part to three panels about anti-UAV systems and airspace management. Seven system demonstrations were also carried out during the event, including one featuring a mastodon weighing more than 300 kilos: “This autonomous system was developed for various surveillance and civil security missions by Quebec company Laflamme in collaboration with the American company General Dynamics. It was the first public technological demonstration of this system in Quebec, which generated a great deal of interest from the stakeholders present,” commented CED Director General Marc Moffatt. He also added that, once again this year, the activity welcomed several major manufacturers, including Bell Helicopter, Bombardier, General Atomics, CAE, L3, Leonardo, and many others.

    According to CED President Alain Fortin, hosting an event like TECH DEMO is very significant for the industry: “The drone community needs events around which to gather to feed each other. We are obviously thrilled with the scope of this second edition and, above all, very proud of the quality of the speakers in attendance. Several actors who orchestrate the development of drone regulation in Canada were among us over the past two days to listen to what the community had to teach them and to learn more about the potential of the CED.”

    He added: “Our speakers come from all over the world, including the United States, England, Italy and even Ukraine. Over the years, the CED and its partners have built a whole regional ecosystem around the drone and we can see now that its strategic role in the development of this sector is recognized and well established.”

    Made possible with the financial support from the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation as well as General Dynamics Missions Systems, Kongsberg Geospatial Ltd. and CAE, the event has become a major annual event that is eagerly awaited by the industry.

    About the CED

    The CED is a member-based organization whose mission is to develop an international centre of expertise, services and innovation in the design, application and operation of UAVs. The CED has 18 members and a large network of partners. It manages the niche of excellence in civil and commercial UAVs as well as flight areas dedicated to RPAS operations and continues to develop a test and system qualification centre, which is expected to be operational within one year. For more information on the CED or updates on the latest developments, visit

  • Alma, juillet 15, 2019 – The governments of Canada and Quebec are providing a total of $1.6 million in funding to the Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence (UAS-CE) to support the establishment of the Qualia Pre-Qualification Centre in Alma, in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region.

    This project, valued at $2.4 million, will enable companies in the civilian and commercial drone sector to validate their products and services, as well as the results of research and development activities associated with the design of drone systems, in real-world situations.

    This financial assistance includes a $800,000 non-repayable contribution from the Government of Canada under Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions’s Regional Economic Growth Through Innovation program. Funding of $800,000 from the Government of Quebec, through the Programme de soutien aux organismes de recherche et d’innovation, has also been confirmed. The Government of Quebec’s support is in line with the objectives of Quebec’s Aerospace Strategy 2016?2026 to develop the drone sector and its civilian applications.

    Mr. Richard Hébert, Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Jean and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for CED, and Mr. Éric Girard, Member of the National Assembly for Lac-Saint-Jean and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, on behalf of Mr. Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Lanaudière Region, made the announcement today.


    “The RPAS (drone) sector is expanding rapidly in Québec. By establishing a site where companies from the RPAS sector will be able to test their new products in an optimal way, the CED is supporting their growth ambitions. It responds directly to the need to create synergies among aerospace companies with a view to implementing operational demonstrators and commercializing new products. The StartAéro 360° initiative, which we launched in 2018, is designed specifically to encourage these synergies.”

    Suzanne M. Benoît, President of Aéro Montréal.

    “I am delighted with CED’s support for the Qualia project, which will contribute to the growth of the local, regional and national economies and the vitality of our communities. This assistance also reaffirms the role that the Government of Canada plays in the development of innovative businesses and organizations here at home and, consequently, in the growth of the Canadian economy.”

    Richard Hébert, Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Jean and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Businesses and Export Promotion

    “The Qualia project is in alignment with the Government of Canada’s priorities by fostering the growth and evolution of inclusive regional innovation ecosystems. It will also support the development of a strong industry by promoting the mobilization, growth and competitiveness of companies in the drone industry. We promote long-term economic development, and that benefits organizations, businesses and communities.”

    The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for CED

    “The establishment of this new centre is of strategic importance for the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, which, thanks in part to the initiatives of the Centre d’excellence des drones, has developed an expertise that is now recognized in the drone sector. I am convinced that this project will allow our region to gain an even stronger foothold internationally and that it will generate considerable economic spinoffs here and everywhere else in Quebec.”

    Éric Girard, Member for Lac-Saint-Jean and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

    “Thanks to the Qualia Pre-Qualification Centre, the UAS-CE will have the necessary infrastructure and equipment to enable Quebec companies in the civil and commercial drone sector to be among the world leaders. We are therefore enthusiastic about supporting this important project, which will strengthen the competitiveness of a key sector of the aerospace industry and whose civil applications are associated with a number of well-established economic sectors in Quebec, such as security, energy, agriculture and natural resources.”

    Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Lanaudière region

  • Alma, MAY 8, 2019 – Eight years after its creation, the Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence (CED) is acquiring a new brand image. This is a timely rebranding since the integration of the Qualia test centre and the niche of excellence on civil and commercial RPAS whose visual identities have also been redesigned in the process.

    The new visual identity revolves around origami: “On the one hand, the CED is a group of members. The juxtaposition of the specialities of each of its members constitute the range of services and expertise offered through the Centre. On the other hand, the Centre of Excellence shapes the industry like an origami work. The folds of the new visual identity testify to the new versatility of the network as well as the services offered in support,” explains CED’s marketing and administrative agent Michèle Pelletier. She adds that as it is the case in the drone industry development, none of the logo parts can exist on its own.

    Over the years, the CED has acquired a reputation which is highly recognized in the industry. The creation of a niche of excellence on RPAS and the Qualia test site was a perfect moment to improve the Centre’s visual identity to make it more representative,” said the CED’s General director Marc Moffatt.

    The CED team is also working on a new website which is expected to be online in a few months. The new website will allow a simpler access to information as well as bring to the fore the new branches of the CED, which are the designated RPAS flight zones (CYR), the Qualia test centre and the niche of excellence.

    About the CED and its new branches

    Created in 201, the CED puts in place an international centre offering service, expertise and competence development related to the civil and commercial drone sector on a domestic and international level.


    The qualification site will help companies prove their expertise in order to obtain contracts from domestic and international clients. A QUALIA seal will assure the clients quality, safety and data precision. In real situations, qualification tests and audits will be performed as distinctive operational scenarios including specific infrastructures in order to reproduce real life environments.

    The niche of excellence

    The CED hosts the RPAS niche of excellence that includes the industrial, commercial, technical, scientific and governmental players of the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region. The niche of excellence’s mission is to allow the industry to gain a strong and unified structure by putting in place initiatives favouring mobilization, growth and competitiveness in order to strengthen the industry in the long term.

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