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Notice - Space Technology Demonstrations for SMEs, Not-for-Profit Organizations and Universities

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  1. Purpose
  2. Eligible Projects and Description of the Potential AO
  3. Important Comments

Publication Date:

1. Purpose

Through various consultations over the last decade, and most recently through the Canadian Space Agency (CSA)'s Request for Information on Technology Demonstration - Survey on Demonstration Needs, Canada's space sector has expressed a strong interest in technology demonstrations in space to advance research and development (R&D), gain flight heritage, grow their businesses, and to diversify their activities.

This potential Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is intended to respond to this need by offering funding for technology demonstrations in space to small and medium sized for-profit enterprises (less than 500 employees), not-for-profit organizations, and universities.

Projects under the potential AO will be structured in two phases:

Prior to, or at the beginning of Phase 1, The CSA will offer a webinar about the various platforms and launcher services. This webinar will be open to the entire Canadian space sector.

Only participants in Phase 1 of the projects will be invited to submit a proposal for Phase 2.

The potential AO is described briefly in section 2.

The objectives of this notice are the following:

2. Eligible Projects and Description of the Potential AO

The CSA's potential AO for Space Technology Demonstrations for SMEs, Not-for-Profit Organizations and Universities aims to support the basic research and development of technologies that demonstrate strong commercial potential and have a high degree of innovation.

Only technologies targeted at demonstration in space are eligible. Projects seeking demonstration in a suborbital flight platform, for example sounding rockets, are not eligible for this potential AO.

Eligible technologies must have reached TRL-6 (System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment (ground or space)) at the beginning of the project. The potential AO will include the R&D to adapt an existing instrument or payload, or the development of a protoflight model based on the existing design, and its integration on a demonstration platform. Activities such as adaptation of interfaces (electrical and mechanical), volume, mass or power and integration/modification of components to withstand the space environment are eligible.

Eligible projects for Phase 1 are not required to be manifested with a payload delivery service provider for launch, but this will be required in order to be eligible projects for Phase 2.

The definition of R&D used for this notice, is as follows:

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

Eligible recipients are to:

  1. for-profit organizations (less than 500 employees),
  2. not-for-profit organizations, and
  3. universities.

All must be established and operating in Canada.

This potential AO will issue non-repayable contributions of up to a maximum of $150K for Phase 1 and maximum of $2M for Phase 2 that demonstrate benefits in the short to medium term (i.e. 1 to 5 years). Projects should have a targeted duration of 24 to 36 months during Phase 2.

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.

3. Important Comments

This notice is not an AO and should not be considered as a commitment on the part of the Government of Canada. No agreement based on this notice will be concluded. This notice does not in any way authorize prospective interested organizations to undertake work, the cost of which could be claimed from Canada.

It should be noted that the description of the potential AO in section 2 is subject to change between now and the official publication, if necessary.

The CSA encourages the space industry to collaborate with the academic sector in the implementation of the potential AO by promoting projects that will include student and academic participation.

Potential applicants may be interested in contacting Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization. It builds partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada, especially by helping companies access the talent, technologies, and strategic partnerships they need to innovate and grow. Academic researchers and highly skilled graduates or postdoctoral talent can be leveraged on research projects in collaboration with universities. Potential applicants will have to account for the Mitacs funding as part of the total government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) assistance in the application form.

For guidance, publication of the potential AO is targeted for on the CSA website for a period of 8 weeks. Several factors may influence this date, or even lead to the cancellation of such a publication.

This notice is subject to change. If necessary, these changes will be published on the CSA website.

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