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STDP AO 6.1 Space R&D – Advanced technologies

Industrial capability-building contribution

Announcement of Opportunity

Publication date:

Application deadline:

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. AO objectives
  3. Eligibility criteria
  4. Applications
  5. Evaluation
  6. Funding
  7. Funding agreements
  8. Privacy notice statement
  9. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
  • Eligible recipients: Eligible recipients are limited to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada, excluding academic institutions
  • Non-repayable contributions
  • Maximum amount per project: $1,000,000
  • Estimated total amount: $9,000,000
  • Maximum timeframe of the project: 24 months with a possibility of extension to 36 months
  • Estimated projects start date:

1. Introduction

Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan is focused on three priority areas to spur innovation: People, Technologies, and Companies. Working with industry, the Government of Canada will encourage innovation by increasing its support for basic research and development (R&D) in space technology development. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is issuing this Announcement of Opportunity (AO) to support the development of Canadian industrial capabilities in the area of space technologies with the aim of increasing the commercial potential of Canadian space companies to capture global opportunities.

It is indeed paramount that the Canadian space industry remains strong, healthy and relevant, and that it has the required readiness to respond to national demand and the necessary competitiveness to secure an increased share of commercial and institutional markets worldwide. Only through innovation and continued investments in R&D can Canada ensure that it has the industrial depth and breadth to remain a valued player in the international arena.

In light of the above, this AO concerning Space R&D will award non-repayable contributions up to $1M per advanced space technology project that expect commercial potential in the short to medium term (i.e. 2 to 5 years).

This AO is consistent with the terms and conditions of the CSA Class Grant and Contribution (G&C) Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component.

Applicants are asked to read the following AO thoroughly before submitting their applications. This AO was prepared to help applicants complete the application process, and outlines key elements, including mandatory criteria for eligibility, details on eligible projects and the selection process. In the event of any discrepancies between this AO and the individual funding agreements governing a project, the latter document(s) will take precedence.

2. AO objectives

The objective of this AO is as follows:

To support the development of Canadian industrial capabilities in the area of space technologies for the purpose of increasing the commercial potential of Canadian space companies.

3. Eligibility criteria

3.1 Eligible recipients

Eligible recipients are limited to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada, excluding academic institutions.

Eligible recipients can collaborate on the same project. If selected for funding, eligible recipients, collaborating on the project, will be jointly and severally (solidarily) liable in the contribution agreement.

3.2 Eligible projects

The CSA's Space Technology Development Program (STDP) aims to support the strengthening of industrial capabilities (new concepts, products and/or know-how) related to basic R&D of space technologies (space and/or ground segment).

Eligible projects do not include the following development as they are or will be supported through other funding opportunities:

  • Application development related to Earth Observation data, Satellite Telecommunications data, and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) data
  • Development of space related medical technologies
  • Development of lunar exploration technologies

To be eligible, projects should strive to achieve technology readiness level (TRL) 5 or 6 and to generate economic benefits in the short to medium term, within 2 to 5 years following project completion.

Projects aiming at TRLs higher than TRL-6 are not eligible. Initial TRL for eligible projects should typically be between TRL-4 and TRL-5.

All development phases necessary for a project are eligible. Any logical breakdown or combination of these phases can constitute a funded project. However, breaking down a project into numerous phases to obtain more than the maximum contribution is not allowed. Furthermore, even if the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining phases.

3.3 Links to CSA priorities

This AO focuses on the CSA's priority of building industrial capabilities, meaning those projects that aim to develop new concepts, products and/or know-how. Industrial capability building therefore encompasses all projects aimed at strengthening the industry core capabilities with particular focus on developing its people and technologies.

3.4 Links to program objectives

This AO supports STDP objectives and contributes to the following objectives of the CSA Class G&C Program:

  • To support the development of technologies relevant to Canada; and
  • To foster the continuing development of a critical mass of highly qualified personnel (HQP) in Canada.

The CSA encourages the space industry to collaborate with the academic sector in the implementation of the AOs by promoting projects that will include student and academic participation. To this effect, potential applicants may be interested in contacting Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization which helps companies access the talent, technologies, and strategic partnerships they need to innovate and grow, to investigate if and how academic researchers and highly skilled graduate or postdoctoral talent can be leveraged on research projects in collaboration with universities.

3.5 Basic R&D definition

Eligible projects supported under this AO must comply with the following definition for basic R&D by providing the required justification within section 5 of the Application form:

"Any pre-commercial technology activities that are carried out to resolve unknowns regarding the feasibility of space concepts in the space sector."

The following due diligence process will be applied to determine whether projects are compliant with this definition. To that end, justification to be provided in section 5 of the Application form should:

  • Quantify the technical objectives being sought and must describe how the expected results will be measured;
  • Clearly state which technological unknowns are proposed to be answered;
  • Clearly state the working hypotheses behind solving the unknowns and describe how plausible it is anticipated to solve these unknowns;
  • Demonstrate that the proposed project consists of more than ordinary engineering or current operations; and
  • Substantiate the current TRL and the proposed TRL expected to be reached (up to TRL 6).

The following TRL definitions must be used:

TRL 1

Basic principles observed and reported

TRL 2

Technology concept and/or application formulated

TRL 3

Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof-of-concept

TRL 4

Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment

TRL 5

Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment

TRL 6

System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment (ground or space)

Basic R&D activities supported under this AO shall be undertaken in Canada unless it is essential to the success of the project.

4. Applications

4.1 Required documentation

The application must include the following:

  • A completed original Application form signed by the duly authorized representative;
  • The résumés of each team member responsible for managing the project and key technical personnel. The résumés should be limited to two pages with only information that is relevant to the application;
  • A copy of the document(s) confirming the legal name of the applicant;
  • Letters from other funding contributors confirming their contributions, if applicable;
  • Letters of intent, if applicable;
  • Letters of support, if applicable;
  • The Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act form signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the Applicant Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act section included in the application form);
  • For organizations in Quebec, M-30 Supporting Documentation form completed and signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the M-30 form for organizations in Quebec included in the application form);
  • A single PDF-formatted file containing copies (identical to the paper copies) of all the above-requested documents with all security features disabled on standard electronic media (USB memory key, CD, or DVD). The application must be included in the file as a searchable PDF-formatted document (PDF/A-1a format preferred). If there is any discrepancy between the hard and the soft copies, the hard copy takes precedence.
  • If the project is executed through a partnership, a completed original Partner Application Form for each partner, signed by the duly authorized representative of the partner. Partner application forms are to be submitted in paper and in PDF.
  • The financial statements for the last two years and the most recent interim results for each eligible recipients involved in the application. Financial statements and interim results are to be submitted in paper and in PDF.

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal bylaws.

Applications must be mailed to the CSA at the following address:

Alexandre Grondin
Technology Development Officer
Technology Development Management
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9

  • The application has to reach CSA before .
  • The application can be mailed/couriered/delivered to the address indicated.
  • There is no one to receive hand delivered proposals during the weekends. Hand delivered proposals will only be accepted during business hours.
  • Applications sent by email will not be accepted.
  • Incomplete applications shall not be considered.

Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently asked questions (Section 9).

4.2 Service standards

Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions regarding their application. Selected applications will be announced on the CSA website. The CSA has set the following service standards for processing times, acknowledgement of receipt, funding decisions and payment procedures.

Acknowledgement: The CSA's goal is to acknowledge receipt within 5 business days of receiving the completed application package.

Decision: The CSA's goal is to respond to the proposal within 16 weeks of the AO's closing date and to send a contribution agreement for signature within 4 weeks after formal approval of the proposal.

Payment: The CSA's goal is to issue payment within 6 weeks of the successful fulfillment of the requirements outlined in the contribution agreement.

Compliance with these service standards is a shared responsibility. Applicants must submit all required documentation in a timely fashion. Service standards may vary by AO.

5. Evaluation

5.1 Eligibility criteria
  • Represents an eligible recipient as defined in Section 3.1;
  • Represents an eligible project as defined in Sections 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4;
  • Meets the basic R&D definition in Section 3.5; and
  • Meets program funding provisions in Section 6.1.
5.2 Point rated evaluation criteria

Applications will be evaluated according to the following point rated criteria:

  1. Innovation and market need (30%)
  2. Project feasibility, resources and risk assessment (20%)
  3. Outcomes and benefits to Canada (50%)

The page count limit to support each of the previous criteria is implemented in the Application form. The definition of the criteria and scoring grid are specified in Appendix A.

5.3 Evaluation process

Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment listed in Section 5.1 will be given further consideration.

Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, an individual evaluation of the screened applications will be performed according to the criteria listed in Section 5.2. Evaluators shall be experts in the field relevant to the applications and may include representatives of other Canadian government departments as well as external consultants. A review committee will then make an overall selection based on the priorities of the Government of Canada and the CSA such as, but not limited to, geographic representation, gender representation, growth potential, commercialization opportunity, return on investment, implication of HQP and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students. Contribution agreements will be offered to the applicants in this final list to maximize the use of available funding (Section 6).

Before a final decision is made, the CSA's Program manager responsible for this AO may seek input and advice from other organizations, including (but not limited to) federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations.

6. Funding

6.1 Available funding and duration

The total funding available under this AO 6.1 is currently expected to be approximately $9M, with the following maximum per project:

  • CSA's maximum contribution for any project is $1 million

The maximum duration for any project is 24 months with a possibility of extension to 36 months. Extensions will be evaluated on a case by case basis to the recipient's demand.

The overall number of contributions awarded will depend on the availability of funds.

Each eligible recipient can be funded for a maximum of 2 projects under this AO.

Approved proposals will be eligible for a total government (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal) assistance of up to a maximum of 75% of total eligible project costs. Thus, the maximum assistance of $1 million will be available for projects with $1.33 million of total eligible project costs.

To determine the amount of funding to be allocated, consideration will be given to the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and the other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the applicant.

Applicants must identify all sources of funding in their applications and confirm this information in a funding agreement if the project is selected for funding. Upon completion of a project, the recipient must also disclose all sources of funding.

The CSA reserves the right not to accept any proposals or to reduce the amount of the contributions at its entire discretion.

6.2 Eligible costs

Eligible costs are direct expenses that are associated with the delivery of the approved project and that are required to achieve the expected results of the project. Expenses will be covered subject to the applicant signing a funding agreement in the form of a contribution with the CSA.

Eligible costs are limited to one or a combination of the following categories (see definitions):

  • acquisition or rental of equipment (not to exceed 20% of the total project eligible costs);
  • consultant services;
  • data acquisition;
  • laboratory analysis services;
  • material and supplies;
  • overhead (administrative) costs (not to exceed 15% of project eligible costs);
  • salaries and benefits; and
  • travel.

Only the real salary rates are authorized as admissible costs.

7. Funding agreements

7.1 Payments

The CSA and each successful applicant (the recipient) will sign a funding agreement. This is a condition for any payment made by the CSA with respect to the approved project.

Payments for contribution agreements will be made in accordance with the process and the reporting requirements described in the signed funding agreement. Upon notice of a successful application, the CSA will have no liability until a funding agreement is signed by both parties. Only eligible costs incurred after the funding agreement is signed and indicated in the agreement will be reimbursed.

7.2 Audit

The recipient of a funding agreement shall keep proper records of all documentation related to the funded project, for the duration of the project and for six (6) years after the completion date of the project, in the event of an audit. This documentation shall be available upon request.

7.3 Conflict of interest

In the funding agreement, the recipient will certify that any current or former public office holder or public servant it employs complies with the provisions of the relevant Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector respectively.

Note: Current employees of the CSA are not eligible to participate in any way in any application under this AO.

7.4 Intellectual property

All intellectual property developed by the recipient in the course of the project shall vest in the recipient.

7.5 Organizations in Quebec

An organization in Quebec whose operations are partially or fully funded by the province of Quebec may be subject to the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif, R.S.Q., Chapter M-30.

Under Sections 3.11 and 3.12 of this Act, certain entities/organizations, as defined in the meaning of the Act, such as municipal bodies, school bodies, or public agencies, must obtain authorization from the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes, as indicated by the Act, before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada, its departments or agencies, or a federal public agency.

Consequently, any entity that is subject to the Act is responsible for obtaining such authorization before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada.

Quebec applicants must complete, sign and include the M-30 Supporting documentation form with their application.

7.6 Performance measurement

The CSA will ask the recipients to report on the following topics:

  • Knowledge creation
    • Knowledge production
      • Initial and final TRL achieved under the project
      • Number of technology breakthroughs
      • Achievements resulting from research
    • Publications and presentations
    • Number and types of Foreground Intellectual Property (FIP) generated (e.g., trademark, patent, copyright, know-how, etc.)
  • Capacity building
    • HQP (by gender) involved directly and indirectly in the project
    • Number of students or post-docs involved during the project
    • Number and nature of industrial core capabilities and products developed
    • Number and nature of infrastructures developed
  • Collaboration
    • Number of different organizations involved
    • Number of different disciplines
  • Benefits generated by the Canadian Government support in the short to medium (term 2-5 years), measured through an annual survey upon completion of the project
    • Return on investment (ROI) that the government contribution has supported.
    • Success stories in the sale/use of the developed technology
    • Evolution of the company and positioning in the world market
7.7 Open science

The CSA wishes to promote the dissemination of findings that results from the projects it funds as quickly and to the greatest number of people as possible. Improved access to scientific results not only allows scientists to use a broader range of resources and knowledge, but also improves research collaboration and coordination, strengthens citizen engagement and supports the economy.

Thus, the CSA promotes the use of open access publication and archiving by recipients in order to facilitate the widest dissemination of findings that results from its funded projects. Thus, recipients are invited to publish, in a timely matter, their articles by using one of the following methods:

  1. Accessible online repository (institutional or disciplinary) so that the publication is freely accessible.
  2. Journal offering open access to articles.

The publication costs are eligible expenses as defined in section 6.2. It should be noted that these two methods are not mutually exclusive and that recipients are encouraged to use both.

Finally, the CSA wishes to receive, as a courtesy, a copy of the funded publications (if not freely accessible) or the hyperlink (if freely accessible) and its digital object identifier (DOI). These will be use to improve accessibility by including them in the CSA funded publications directory.

8. Privacy notice statement

The CSA manages and protects the information provided by the applicant under the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act. By submitting your personal information, you consent to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Privacy Statement, which explains how the information about the applicant will be processed.

The information is collected under the CSA Class G&C Program in Support of Awareness, Research and Learning - Research Component (ASC PPU 045) and Awareness and Learning Component (ASC PPU 040). This information will be used for administration and application evaluation purposes. Personal information (such as name, contact information and biographical information) will be kept for 6 years and destroyed. According to the Privacy Act, any individual may, upon request,

  1. have access to his or her personal data and
  2. request correction of the incorrect information.

Applicants should also note that information relating to the Funding Agreement could be disclosed publicly in accordance with the laws, policies and directives of the Government of Canada.

For additional information regarding this statement, please contact:

Office of Access to Information and Privacy
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: 450-926-4866
Email: aiprp-atip@asc-csa.gc.ca

9. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

It is the responsibility of the applicants to obtain clarification of the requirements contained herein, if necessary, before submitting an application.

For any questions related to the AO, applicants shall use the following email address pdts-stdp@asc-csa.gc.ca. Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently asked questions section of this AO. The CSA will respond to questions received before .

At any point, applicants are welcome to share with the CSA their comments or suggestions regarding the program using the following generic email address or the generic web-based Comments and suggestions box.

Question 1: We are considering proposing a project that would require non-Canadian expertise in order to support the key project activities that will otherwise be conducted in Canada. In order to help us scope the project work share, could you please clarify the following:

  1. Are there any rules we should apply in terms of maximum work share (e.g. as a percentage of the total project budget) that can be allocated to the non-Canadian partner?
  2. Are there any specific justifications that our proposal should contain in order to explain why the work to be performed by the non-Canadian partner cannot be conducted in Canada?
  3. There are no evaluation criteria related to the presence of a non-Canadian partner. Can you confirm that the presence of a non-Canadian partner will not penalise the evaluation of the proposal, that no evaluation criteria take into account the presence of a non-Canadian partner, and that having a non-Canadian partner will not have a negative impact on the chances of success of a proposal?

Answer 1:

  1. Please see section 3.5: Basic R&D activities supported under this AO shall be undertaken in Canada unless it is essential to the success of the project.

    The intent of this AO is to provide funding to enhance the R&D capacity of the Canadian industry and, as such, R&D activities supported under this AO shall be undertaken in Canada. Foreign consultants are acceptable as eligible costs as long as reasonable efforts to find Canadian consultants have been demonstrated.

  2. It is up to the applicant to provide the appropriate justification as to why the work to be performed by the non-Canadian partner cannot be conducted in Canada as the justification can vary. The CSA will evaluate the justification on a case-by-case basis.

  3. As mentioned in answer 1b, it is up to the applicant to justify why the work needs to be performed outside of Canada and although there is no specific evaluation criterion related to the presence of non-Canadian partners, the following criterion evaluates the creation of highly skilled jobs in Canada: Outcomes and benefits to Canada.

Question 2: Consultant services

  1. For pricing purposes, could you please clarify what constitutes a valid 'consultant service', versus the work to be conducted by the project team and that should be costed under the category 'salaries and benefits'?
  2. Can you please also clarify if cost of consultant services may include a profit margin?

Answer 2:

  1. Consultants can not be employees on the recipient's payroll. Eligible personnel for the "salaries and benefits" category must be employees on the recipient's payroll. Please also see Eligible Costs Definitions.
  2. Consultant services may include a profit margin. Please refer to section 6.2.

Question 3: Can the closing date of the AO be extended?

Answer 3: The closing date of the AO will not be extended and will remain as stated in section 4.1

Question 4: To make an application, is a company required to be anything more than a legally registered corporation? Are there any other licenses or registrations that would be required?

Answer 4: The eligible recipients for this AO are described as the following: "Eligible recipients are limited to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada, excluding academic institutions" (see section 3.1). Each application to this AO must include a copy of the document(s) confirming the legal name of the applicant (see section 4.1 Required documentation). The document that confirms the legal name of the applicant is the Certificate of Incorporation or the Letters Patent of Incorporation.

Question 5: If we collaborate with an academic partner and that partner leverages additional funding to support their portion of the work such as NSERC Engage grants or provincial OCE grants, would this cause the CSA to reduce their maximum contribution to the project below the maximum?

Answer 5: The total governmental assistance of 75% (i.e. stacking limit) applies to the total project costs. If the other government grant supports the same eligible costs of the project then it will count towards the stacking limit or 75%. The CSA's maximum contribution amount listed in the AO remains the same and the other government support can be in addition to the CSA maximum as long as the total government support does not exceed 75% of total project costs (see section 6.1).

Question 6: For the purposes of this AO, what definition of Highly Qualified People (HQP) is being used? Are HQP considered to be only current masters or PhD students, or do they also include college students in a STEM-related field, or individuals who have already graduated?

Answer 6: HQP in this AO is defined as project managers, engineers, scientists, post-doc fellows, and technicians. Students are defined separately and can be current Masters, PhD, and college students in a STEM-related field.

Question 7: Regarding the above announcement of opportunity, does the SACC manual apply in this case? Specifically, does the SACC manual, Section 1, subsection 07 () on delayed bids apply for this submission?

Answer 7: The SACC Manual does not apply as the AO generates contributions managed by the CSA and not contracts managed by Public Services and Procurement Canada. In terms of deadlines for applications, please see Section 4.1. All applications received after this date and time will be rejected.

Question 8: In order to apply to this AO, my enterprise has just registered as a sole proprietorship. Do I have to incorporate?

Answer 8: It is not required to incorporate. Eligible recipients are for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada, excluding academic institutions (see section 3.1). The CSA requires documents that prove the legal status of an enterprise. This could include registration documents, a Certificate of Incorporation or the Letters Patent of Incorporation. The proof of legal status of the enterprise is required with the application and before the closing date of the AO.

Question 9 : In reference to section 4.1 – Required documentation
The financial statements of the two past years as well as the most recent interim results of an enterprise have to be provided along with the application.. My enterprise has just been registered. I do not have financial statements for the past two years, nor interim results. May I still apply?

Answer 9: Yes, you may still apply. In the case the enterprise has recently been registered and financial statements do not exist, they will not be required. The date of registration or incorporation will be required to prove that the enterprise has not existed long enough for financial statements to exist and to be provided.

Question 10: Is it sufficient to utilize a labor category rate (minus overhead) or is the individual's salary necessary. For example, at my company we have labor categories for RF engineer, all RF engineers are billed internally to projects at that rate. However an employee is paid a salary which may be more or less than the hourly labor category rate. Which rate is required by the CSA?

Answer 10: The individual's salary is required. The amount invoiced shall be actual gross pay for the work performed and shall include no markup for profit, selling, administration or financing. Labour claims must be supported by suitable records such as time sheets and records, and be held for verification at time of audit. Management personnel are required to maintain appropriate records of time devoted to the project. For complete details, please see definition of salaries and benefits provided in section 6.2.

Question 11: Can the CSA comment on eligibility of suggested projects?

Answer 11: For the sake of fairness, the CSA cannot provide feedback on project eligibility during the AO's posting period. Applicants must refer to section 3 to determine if a project is eligible.

Question 12: Can you clarify what is meant by "Eligible projects do not include application development related to Earth Observation data, Satellite Telecommunications data, and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) data."?

Answer 12: Any form of application development using space-based data is considered ineligible for funding under this AO.

Question 13: Can we provide figures to support our proposal?

Answer 13: Yes, figures need to be included in the form along with the answers to the questions.

Question 14: Can we provide letters of interest or support letters?

Answer 14: Yes, these can be included in Annex and referenced in the body of the answer in the application form.

Question 15 : Section 6.1 says "Each eligible recipient can be funded for a maximum of 2 projects under this AO." In that sentence, does "this AO" refer to the current AO (ex: AO 6.1), or AO6 as a whole?

Answer 15: We refer to the current AO.

Question 16: Can you clarify what is understood by Earth Observation Data?

Answer 16: Earth Observation data includes any data that is coming from the observation of the Earth.

Question 17: What is the maximum technology readiness level that can be reached?

Answer 17: TRL 6 is the maximum TRL supported by AO6.

Question 18: Can you clarify if only one entity can submit a proposal for this AO or a consortium of partners are also accepted?

Answer 18: The contribution agreement can be put in place with multiple collaborating eligible recipients as defined in Section 3.1.

Question 19: If eligible, can an organization submit one project to two different AO categories.

Answer 19: Yes. The organization is required to submit the required documentation as defined in section 4.1 for each application.

Question 20: The standards for evaluating TRL that are presented in the NASA Systems Engineering Handbook and the ESA TRL handbook are slightly different. Which standard would you like us to use?

Answer 20: TRL evaluation must be aligned with definitions provided in section 3.5.

Question 21: Can additional technical and corporate material be added in annex?

Answer 21: Additional relevant documentation can be added in annex and referenced in the application form. Adding a bibliography is optional.

Question 22: Can academic institutions apply as partners?

Answer 22: Only eligible recipients can apply as partners. Academic institutions are encouraged to be included in the work as consultants to the recipient but are not eligible as recipients of the contribution agreements.

Note that only the content of the application form will be evaluated.

Question 23 : In regards to section 3.2 Eligible projects, would basic R&D projects on technologies not included be eligible would they not be financed through other opportunities?

Answer 23: Projects targeting:

  • Application development related to Earth Observation data, Satellite Telecommunications data, and GNSS data;
  • Development of space related medical technologies;
  • Development of lunar exploration technologies

are not eligible under this AO.

Question 24 : In regards to section 3.2 Eligible projects, can you clarify what is understood by Satellite Telecommunications data in the context of Application Development?

Answer 24: In the context of application development, Satellite Telecommunications data  includes any data coming from telecommunications satellites.

Question 25: How many projects can be submitted under each category?

Answer 25: There is no restriction on the number of projects submitted. However, as stated in section 6.1 Available funding and duration, each eligible recipient can be funded for a maximum of 2 projects under this AO, i.e. under each AO.

Question 26: Can the CSA provide guidance on which category I should apply based on the project to be proposed?

Answer 26: For the sake of fairness, the CSA cannot provide guidance during the AO's posting period.

Question 27: Are technologies intended for terrestrial applications but derived from space eligible?

Answer 27: Only projects for the development space technologies are eligible.

Question 28: If a technology targets sectors other than the space sector, how will this be considered in the evaluation?

Answer 28: The evaluations looks primarily at the technology in the space sector.

Question 29: Can you specify what is meant by space related medical technologies, and would this include medical technologies derived from space technologies?

Answer 29: The development of space related medical technologies includes any project that would propose the development of medical technologies with potential applications in space. This would include any medical technology. As mentioned in section 3.2, the AO aims to support the development of space technologies.

Question 30: We have received funding from a past CSA AO for a given technology. Is it possible to propose a new project to increase the TRL of the same technology?

Answer 30: If a proposal is for pursuing the R&D of a specific technology found in another awarded contribution (past or on-going), the proposed follow-up R&D, even if funded in a new contribution agreement under another AO, is considered another phase of R&D of the same project and subject to the CSA G&C program cumulative limit of $5M, on top of the limit of each individual AO.

Also, as stated in section 3.2, all development phases necessary for a project are eligible. Any logical breakdown or combination of these phases can constitute a funded project. However, breaking down a project into numerous phases to obtain more than the maximum contribution is not allowed. Furthermore, even if the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining phases.

Question 31: Can the application deadline be postponed?

Answer 31: The application deadline has been updated to .

Question 32: In the application form, can the applicant remove the questions from CSA to make room for the answer?

Answer 32: For clarity purposes, the questions must remain within the form.

Question 33: In our company, HQPs act like independent consultants and get paid based on the work done and contracts executed.

What do you suggest we use as a salary rate for eligible costs?

Answer 33: The eligible costs must be based on the actual salaries of the individuals performing the work. If the work is done through consultants, the expected consultant fees based on the work to be performed should be used.

The "salaries and benefits" category should be used to cover the salary of employees for which the company (employer) produces a statement of remuneration paid (T4).

For workers hired as consultants, the "consultant services" category should be used.

Question 34: We would like to support postdocs and students on projects relating to our proposed project. The postdocs and students are working in the laboratory of an academic PI who is a stakeholder in the company. Is this acceptable?

Answer 34: Only work done directly for the proposed project can be accepted as eligible cost.

If the company uses the services of postdocs or students directly, the company needs to identify if these are employees to be reported in the project through the "salaries and benefits" cost category, or consultants and reported through the "consultant services" category.

If the enterprise is paying a university for the services of postdocs or students, this should be reported through the "consultant services" cost category.

Question 35: Can a company rent university premises as the main place of business for the company?

Answer 35: Yes. Fees related to the place of business can be considered under the "Overhead (administrative) costs". Please refer to section 6.2 for the definition of eligible costs.

Question 36: Can the deadline be extended further?

Answer 36: The closing date of the AO will not be extended and will remain as defined in section 4.1.

Question 37: How should the electronic version of the letters of support be included?

Answer 37: Letters of support should be included in the PDF document as stated in section 4.1.

Question 38: If Mitacs is funding students in the project, is there any specific document coming from Mitacs to be included in the application?

Answer 38: No specific document is required. Mitacs' contribution should be listed in section 4 of the application form.

Question 39: Concerning the financial statements and interim results, our company's year end is in April and we have our financial statements until then. Can you please elaborate what is needed for the interim results?

Answer 39: Interim results are interim financial statements composed of the same elements as the annual financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, statements of changes in equity, statement of cash flows and notes) except that the latter are prepared on a given date during the financial year or for a period ending on a date different from that of the end of the financial year.

If interim financial statements are not available, the applicant should provide a summary of revenues and expenses for the most recent period at the time of the request.

Question 40: Our company's financial statements are publicly available on the internet. Instead of printing and sending a large amount of paper, can we provide the PDF hyperlink to the financial statements?

Answer 40: The financial statements have to be submitted in paper and in PDF as stated in the AO.

Appendix A: Point-rated evaluation criteria

Application must receive an overall minimum score of 65% as well as minimum specified thresholds to be considered for funding. Obtaining the highest score possible maximizes your chance of being selected to obtain financial support (see section 6). The following point-rated criteria will be evaluated using 4 benchmark statements. Each benchmark statement will receive the following percentage of maximum points according to the following scale:

  1. Poor: 25%
  2. Average: 50%
  3. Good: 75%
  4. Excellent: 100%
1. Innovation and market need (30% of overall score)

Maximum: 30 points
Minimum: 15 points (50%)

1.1 Degree of innovation

Maximum: 10 points

This criterion evaluates the novelty associated with the technology to be developed. Innovation can range from sustaining innovations that improve the performance of existing products (but do not create new markets) to disruptive innovations that offer an entirely different value proposition leading to the creation of new markets. This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • What is the degree of innovation being proposed?

Poor: There is little or no innovation being applied to the development of the proposed concepts, products or know-how.

Average: A moderate level of innovation is being applied that will lead to improved performance of existing concepts, products and/or know-how.

Good: A high level of innovation is being applied that will lead to the development of leading-edge concepts, products and/or know-how.

Excellent: The level of innovation is transformative and will lead to the development of new concepts, products and/or know-how for new markets.

1.2 Market assessment

Maximum: 20 points

This criterion evaluates the applicant's understanding of the market needs associated with the proposed technology. It includes a thorough analysis of market demand. Incidentally, this criterion also evaluates whether the proposal addresses the existence and number of competing alternatives on the market. This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Is the applicant aware of its current market share?
  • What are the factors that drive the demand for this technology?
  • Who are the customers for this technology?
  • Who are the competitors and what alternatives do they offer?

Poor: The applicant is not aware of the current market share pertaining to the technology being developed and the many competitive alternatives already existing on the market. The proposal does not identify the factors that drive demand for this technology or the relevant customers and competitors. The proposal does not present a strategy for competing with the alternatives.

Average: The proposal somewhat identifies the factors that drive demand for this technology, but does not identify the relevant customers and competitors. The proposal identifies some competitive alternatives on the market but provides an incomplete plan for competing with these alternatives. The proposal does not contain any supporting market research/data. The applicant is not clearly aware of the current market share pertaining to the technology to be developed.

Good: The proposal identifies the factors that drive demand for this technology and the relevant customers and competitors, but this is supported by limited market research/data. The proposal identifies some competitive alternatives on the market and provides a detailed plan for competing with those alternatives. The applicant is aware of the current market share pertaining to the technology to be developed.

Excellent: The proposal clearly identifies the factors that drive demand for this technology and the relevant customers and competitors, and is well supported by market research/data. Very few or no competitive alternatives exist on the market. The applicant is aware of the current market share pertaining to the technology to be developed. The proposal provides a comprehensive plan for competing with any alternatives.

2. Project feasibility, resources and risk assessment (20% of overall score)

Maximum: 20 points
Minimum: 10 points (50%)

This criterion evaluates the completeness and effectiveness of the proposed implementation plan in directing the project to successful completion as well as the combined technical qualifications and experience of the team assembled to carry out the proposed work.

This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Does the combined team have the necessary technical and managerial qualifications to execute the project?
  • Does the proposal include a clear and complete implementation plan consisting of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), detailed Work Package Descriptions (WPD), schedule, milestones, resource (personnel, facilities, laboratories, field sites, specialized equipment, etc.) availability and allocation as well as risk identification and mitigation?
  • Does the proposed implementation plan seem credible and well suited to the project objectives, and does it embody sound methodology and management?

Poor: The implementation plan is poorly defined, incomplete or difficult to understand. There is a high likelihood that the objectives will not be met due to inappropriate methodology, technical team, budget, schedule, key risks or availability of resources.

Average: The implementation plan is somewhat defined but lacks details or clarity. Doubts remain regarding the technical methodology of the proposed work, qualifications of the technical team or the likelihood that the objectives will be met.

Good: The implementation plan is complete and well defined. The proposed methodology seems adequately suited for the proposed work to be carried out and the technical team has worked with closely related technologies. The expectation that the proposed work will meet the set objectives and be completed on schedule and within budget is credible.

Excellent: The implementation plan is complete, very well defined and coherent. The methodology described is logical and well suited for the proposed work to be carried out. The proposed team possesses all the qualifications and experience required to perform the proposed work. The likelihood that the proposed work will meet the set objectives and be completed on schedule and within budget is high.

3. Outcomes and benefits to Canada (50% of overall score)

Maximum: 50 points
Minimum: 32.5 points (65%)

3.1 Path to commercial opportunity

Maximum: 10 points

This criterion evaluates the applicant's roadmap for implementing the technology. This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Does the applicant have a post-project strategy, with expected budget with associated funding sources and schedule, to further develop the technology in order to achieve commercial potential?
  • What future space missions are relevant for this technology?

Poor: No relevant future missions have been identified for this technology. The proposal provides a poor or no post-project strategy to further develop the technology in order to achieve commercial potential.

Average: The proposal somewhat identifies relevant future space missions targeted for this technology. The proposal provides an average post-project strategy with limited information on budget, funding sources and schedule to further develop the technology in order to achieve commercial potential.

Good: The proposal identifies relevant future space missions targeted for this technology. The proposal provides a good post-project strategy with information on budget, funding sources and schedule to further develop the technology in order to achieve commercial potential.

Excellent: The proposal clearly identifies relevant future space missions targeted for this technology. The proposal provides an excellent post-project strategy with clear information on budget, funding sources and schedule to further develop the technology in order to achieve commercial potential.

3.2 Competitive advantage and economic benefits

Maximum: 30 points

This criterion assesses the merit and potential of the proposed project to positively affect the company's competitive advantage and/or its overall market share. It is recognized that an improvement in the company's overall market share (or competitive advantage) can be achieved through creating a new market, penetrating for the first time an existing one and/or increasing one's position in an already accessed market:

  • How will the project impact the company's competitive advantage?
  • What impact will the project have on the company's growth in terms of size (workforce) and revenues?
  • Will the project impact positively other Canadian firms?

Poor: The proposed project is unlikely to impact the company's competitive advantage and the impact on the revenues generated are marginal in respect to the level of effort required to develop the technology.

Average: The proposed project is likely to improve the company's competitive advantage and is likely to have an impact on company growth in terms of revenue and size.

Good: The proposed project will improve the company's competitive advantage and will have a credible impact on company growth in terms of revenue and size.

Excellent: The proposed project will substantially improve the company's competitive advantage and overall growth in terms of revenue and size. The proposal includes formally expressed interest of clients (Letters of Intent, MOUs, MOAs, etc.) indicative of potentially significant sales. The project will have an impact on other Canadian firms.

3.3 Public benefits

Maximum: 10 points

This criterion assesses the merit and potential of the proposed project to positively affect the Canadian public. This criterion also evaluates the degree to which this project will help retain and enhance the number of HQP as well as their knowledge and expertise through their involvement in this project and the degree to which the project encourages Canadians to develop STEM skills in order to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.

This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • How is this project affecting the life of the broader Canadian public?
  • Will this project help retain or enhance the number of skilled workers (project managers, engineers, scientists, post-doc fellows, and technicians) in the space sector, through their involvement in this activity?
  • Does this project have the potential to stimulate the creation of highly skilled jobs in Canada?
  • Does this project involve students and post-doc fellows to help develop their STEM skills?

Poor: The proposed project has no impact on the Canadian public or it does not contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills.

Average: The proposed project is likely to impact the Canadian public or likely to contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills.

Good: The proposed project will have an impact on the Canadian public or will contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills.

Excellent: The proposed project will have a considerable impact on the Canadian public or will significantly contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills. The project has the potential to have a wide scale impact at the national level.

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