Evaluation Summary of the Class Grant and Contribution Program

What is the Class Grant and Contribution Program?

In place since , the Canadian Space Agency's Class Grant and Contribution Program promotes space-related research and development to support knowledge development and innovation to address Canada's space priorities.

It is the only federal grant and contribution program entirely dedicated to the development of the space sector.

About the evaluation

Evaluation covers the period of to

Conducted by the Canadian Space Agency's Evaluation function from - in response to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Policy on Evaluation () and to the Policy on Transfer Payments ().

The evaluation's purpose is to provide decision-makers and Canadians an evidenced-based, neutral assessment of the Class G&C Program's value for money with respect to both the program's continued relevance and performance.

The evaluation used a mixed-methods approach that combined qualitative and quantitative analyses which included:

  • Program documents and archival data review
  • Survey to 124 key informants (funding recipients, non-recipients and Canadian Space Agency employees)
  • Telephone interviews with 4 federal transfer payment programs to provide points of comparison and identify best practices.

What have we learned?

The program's objectives are consistent with both federal and departmental priorities and the program falls within the federal government's jurisdiction.

There is a continued need for the program to continue supporting capacity development and collaboration, and fund projects in priority areas.

The program is effective and achieved all its intended outcomes:

  • Space-related S&T knowledge has increased and disseminated.
  • Canada's focus on space has increased, as have national and international collaborations which led to increased space-related capacities and successful multidisciplinary collaborations.

How can we improve the program?

  1. Review the Program's Terms and Conditions with respect to the Awareness and Learning component.
  2. Standardize the application, selection, and feedback processes for both solicited and unsolicited proposals, clearly communicate it to the Canadian space community.
  3. Revise the program's Performance Measurement Strategy, data entry, collection, and storage processes. Also, standardize the process for identifying ranked lists of funding priorities applicable to all grant and contribution initiatives across the main branches.

Over the 5 year evaluation period, the program spent $40 M and successfully funded 195 space science and technology projects.

242 different national and international organizations participated in the funded projects research teams

Almost 1000 HQP were involved in funded projects' research teams

The program beneficially impacts 3 specific types of capacity building:

  • Highly Qualified Personnel
  • Available research materials & equipment
  • Space-related expertise

Most common types of knowledge increase

  • New ideas to be integrated for future space missions
  • Technology and scientific breakthrough
  • Satellite data used
  • Higher technology readiness level
  • Commercial success
  • Applications and algorithms development
  • 10 Announcements of Opportunity produced
  • 117 projects

50% of the funded projects brought new players into space-related research fields

The Program produced good value with respect to use of public funds by achieving its expected outcomes and bolstering Canada's reputation for space research and development through modest and flexible investments.