CAAM Open House: J.R. Hammond

Giovani Izidório Cesconetto

March 21, 2022

March Open House: JR and MikaelCAAM Open House 2022 has the theme momentum, but why is that? And why is the speaker Mikaël Cardinal from Unither Bioélectronique Inc, a biotechnology and health company? For answers to those and many more questions, I sat down with J.R. Hammond, Founder & Executive Director of CAAM. As always, Hammond’s optimism and worldview regarding Advanced Air Mobility were contagious. I left the interview, conversation actually, feeling energized and ready to see what Hammond and Cardinal will speak at the Open House.

CAAM Open House Event by J.R. Hammond

What can people expect from CAAM’s Open House?

People can expect the transition from our strategy in 2021, lifting off and catalyzing the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) in Canada, to our strategy in 2022, momentum, showcasing the ongoing work by the ecosystem nationwide in moving towards revenue-generating use cases for AAM here in Canada.

Why do we host an “Open House”?

We need a platform for the world and Canada to see the ongoing progress that spans beyond CAAM as an organization or any individual group trying to move this industry forward safely. We are here to highlight the existing stakeholders in their individual efforts and to ensure that we create the connections that help speed up the process for these revenue-generating use cases.

Why is the theme momentum?

Momentum came up as this year’s theme because we have already reached an inflection point where so many different groups are taking action towards the future of aviation. The movement in the ecosystem is now occurring naturally. The momentum is building without our involvement, and now we’re excited to amplify that momentum.

We have succeeded in creating an ecosystem that does not require us to be a part of every single conversation. I consider that success, both for me and CAAM. Because as the ecosystem grows, we cannot be a part of every single conversation, and we’re not even close to having the expertise that our members to across industry, government, and research. We have to give the tools and skillsets to our members and the ecosystem to allow them to succeed. We can then help in a small way by helping bridge the gaps between these groups regarding a safe and smooth pathway to operations. Now that so many projects are starting in 2022 related to AAM with and without our involvement, it’s clearly expanding beyond any effort CAAM alone is making.

The momentum is greater than us as an individual organization, and I could not be happier!

Who is Mikaël Cardinal?

Mikaël Cardinal is the visionary behind the Canadian subsidiary of Unither Bioélectronique Inc, which is helping to showcase how we bring biotech, a social use case, and AAM into tangible operations in Canada.

Cardinal and Unither Bioélectronique Inc aren’t names I’ve often heard associated with AAM, so why invite them?

One of the main reasons we extended the invitation to Mikaël and the Unither Bioélectronique Inc team is because they are leading the effort to make a difference with many of the technologies that AAM uses with a much-needed use case. Their Breath in the sky project proves how AAM can help transport organs cheaply and quickly between places in Canada compared to the existing options, potentially saving lives.

We know that Unither Bioélectronique Inc is not a conventional aviation company themselves, but they have immense opportunity to benefit from the development in the AAM industry. We believe that transportation spans so far beyond where convention aviation is defined. That is why we wanted to bring one of the leading companies to showcase how the work in AAM can touch so far beyond what we conventionally describe as aviation. That is an opportunity to showcase that the ecosystem is much greater than we initially anticipated, and companies are taking action on that today. That is the inflection point I mentioned earlier on the strategy of momentum.

And how was it for you, and I’m asking this to both J.R. Hammond, founder and CEO of CAAM, and J.R. Hammond, aviation and AAM enthusiast, to see Unither Bioélectronique Inc accomplishing the Breath in the sky without the help of more traditional aviation and AAM companies?

The word I like to use is admiration. Companies looking at AAM technology to help solve their internal problems now have an example that AAM can help. Unither Bioélectronique Inc knew the conventional cost of using traditional aviation and ground transportation to move critical organs from point to point and decided to lean into the exploration and curiosity of how AAM could help alleviate that problem. That is a great path forward for other companies under our radar that could start asking those same curious questions.

Why do you think Unither Bioélectronique Inc decided to take matters into their hands rather than partner with a more traditional AAM company?

There is always a balance between disruptive innovation and over collaboration. I am excited that Unither Bioélectronique Inc took the disruptive innovation path of being the first one in Canada to take this step. Since then, in their public outreach of sharing this story, they have been engaging with CAAM and our work in many other carry-on projects. So I see it as Unither Bioélectronique Inc taking their self-step into this new industry and then looking to share their learning going forward.

Last question, why do you think people should participate in the Open House?

The Open House will be the opportunity to connect and see the momentum ongoing in Canada. We want to ensure that it is a platform to help catalyze further conversations with industry, academia, and our three levels of Government beyond the Open House itself. That will be the nexus of how we will expedite momentum for Advanced Air Mobility in 2022 in Canada.

Register for CAAM March Open House

By Giovani Izidorio Cesconetto