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Canadian tech companies that pivoted to making ventilators drawing global interest

When the federal government put out a late-March call for made-in-Canada medical equipment to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, CAE became a ventilator company in eight weeks. 

Though the Montreal-based firm, best known for its flight simulators, initially said the expansion was temporary, it now plans to continue this new line of business—even though that means competing with the international medical-technology giants that dominate the ventilator market.

It’s an unexpected outcome for one of the highest-profile Canadian tech companies to respond to Ottawa’s plea for manufacturing help. But while many of the domestic firms now busy fulfilling orders for thousands of the life-saving machines have also begun fielding inquiries from foreign governments, not all see the same long-term opportunity. 

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