IDS Group Embraces All That Ottawa Has to Offer

Jan 25, 2019

A group of colleagues standing in front of a brick building

The practical reality that Ottawa’s challenging winter is here, remarkably doesn’t seem to be hijacking the positive mindset of Sarah and her brother Valerio, members of the Bardelli family who founded IDS Ingegneria Dei Sistemi S.p.A in Pisa Italy in 1980 and opened an office in Ottawa in 2011.

“I was here last December but I understand one week is not representative of an entire winter,” says new Ottawa resident Sarah Bardelli, Chief Human Resources, Contracting and Procurement Officer for IDS.

Character building winters aside, the growth of the IDS Group since 1980 has included the formation of several subsidiaries in key locations around the world that enable IDS to be closer and more accessible to its international clients. This growth includes working with Invest Ottawa’s Global Expansion team on establishing the IDS North American headquarters recently in Ottawa, a city that has quickly endeared Sarah who is already a fan of Ottawa’s infrastructure and quality of life.

“I have only been here for a month and we already love Ottawa’s sense of community, the ability to reach our customer-base and we appreciate the transportation system and how very organized the city is,” says Sarah.

IDS is an independent engineering and systems technologies company providing research, innovation and products in Air Traffic Management, Airports, Electromagnetic Engineering, Unmanned Systems, Avionics and Safety and Protection fields for both civil and defence applications. IDS is looking to grow to become both a national and international leader in designing and developing high technology solutions for the defence and civil market sectors in the fields of Naval, Aeronautical, Air Navigation, Unmanned Systems and Radar Systems.

A family business, the Bardelli family’s grandfather was celebrated upon his death and written about for his historical significance within Italian industry. The Bardelli patriarch, Franco Bardelli,

is one of the protagonists of the development of radar technology in Italy, leading the industrial needs of design and production in a country at the height of its economic reconstruction and heralded for opening the industry’s production capacity to the advanced world. Engineer Franco Bardelli strengthened many companies during his life, providing his expertise and experience as a technician, manager or entrepreneur, always with great dedication and rigour. Influenced by Bardelli, companies include Microlambda, Studio Tecnico di Consulenza Elettronica, SINDEL, Selenia, Officine Galileo and of course IDS – Ingegneria Dei Sistemi.

“We are very proud of our grandfather who founded IDS,” says Sarah. “In 1980 my grandfather decided to start with a new challenge. He founded IDS Ingegneria Dei Sistemi, which was smaller, and in less than 40 years, the company started with five engineers and now employs more than 500, all thanks to the ideas of my grandfather.”

Today, under such different market conditions, Giovanni, Sarah and Valerio’s father is trying to do his best to continue his legacy and continue to innovate.

“We are so proud that the Bardelli family gets to build off the foundation established by our grandfather,” says Valerio Bardelli, Company Image Brand Manager with IDS.

The company’s strategic growth strategy has been to set-up operations as close to their customers as possible. The company has grown from a single company in Italy to a company with business lines and subsidiaries in Italy, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia, South Korea and Canada and joint ventures in Italy and the United Kingdom and expansion opportunities in China. IDS has also recently purchased several companies which have a high level of expertise in niche areas such as unmanned systems, satellite communications and systems management software.

Committed to research and development, since 1980 IDS has specialized in providing consulting services for high-tech engineering projects and in developing cutting-edge products, integrated software solutions and measurement systems. IDS has a strong customer focus and is committed to meeting customer requirements with high-quality innovative solutions.

“The proximity to our customers is very important because we are big on building relationships. When we have a good relationship with our customers, we can better understand their needs and requirements, work to meet their needs and ideally anticipate solutions,” says Sarah. “Ottawa and Canada are a new market for IDS, so we are working to understand the needs of the market and if our products and services meet the needs in Canada or if tailoring or modifications are required for the country.”

As they continue to innovate and grow, the IDS North American Headquarters in Ottawa has recently opened a manufacturing plant and received both Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) funding through the National Research Council (NRC) as well as Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) funding through the Ontario government.

The family feels that Ottawa will continue to represent many possibilities for the company because of the opportunities for funding, the skilled engineers, as well as the opportunity to research and test if products meet the needs of the customers such as Canada’s civil air navigation service company, NAV Canada.

“The talent available in Ottawa is very important for us to grow and the graduates from the universities here are very well prepared and skilled,” says Sarah. “Also, the Province of Ontario is currently investing a lot and we are continuing to develop new products and prototypes that require the right customers to evolve from a prototype to a product. One of the reasons that I am here in Ottawa is to determine our growth potential and potential for talent here in Ottawa.”

Already growing, the company is looking to take advantage of Ottawa’s rich autonomous vehicle ecosystem through a testbed for smart agriculture and drones and IDS is currently researching funding options to hire someone who can directly manage the company’s communications vehicles, translation and increased promotions.

Sarah and Valerio Bardelli think the company is on the right track and look forward to marking their hard work and success in the next year.

“Our next step is to collaborate with other companies and to tailor our products better,” says Sarah. “Then, once we have survived our first Ottawa winter and… if we are alive in the spring, we will celebrate,” says Sarah Bardelli.


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