Frequently asked questions about smartEarth

smartEarth funding tracks

What is the Accelerator track?

The goal of the Accelerator track is to speed up the development of innovative satellite data solutions, at different levels of readiness (up to the demonstration stage), that will respond to challenges of importance to Canada (through an application, a product or a service).

Funding is provided in a two-phase approach. Only the most promising qualified projects will be eligible for the second phase.

What is the Integrator track?

The goal of the Integrator track is to provide innovative satellite data solutions that will meet national priorities and enhance federal government operations and service delivery to Canadians.

Solutions will be developed by an industry-led multi-sector consortium. This consortium may include (but is not limited to):

  • for-profit and not-for-profit organizations;
  • post-secondary institutions; and
  • departments/agencies from the three levels of government (federal, provincial and municipal).
What is the Enabler track?

The goal of the Enabler track is to enhance the capacities and expertise of Canada's for-profit organizations, not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions in the use and application of satellite data. It also aims to foster competitiveness and growth.

Former Canadian Space Agency (CSA) funding programs (EOADP, GRIP, SOAR)

What is the difference between smartEarth and the CSA's former funding programs?

smartEarth is a single initiative with three funding tracks (as opposed to three distinct programs and audiences). It provides more opportunities to Canadian industry:

  • All tracks mainly target for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.
  • Post-secondary institutions can also take part. They can also partner with businesses.

smartEarth covers a broader range of projects that use all kinds of satellite data. They are not focused on CSA-specific missions.

smartEarth also fosters collaboration and sharing of expertise between many partners.

Why is the CSA replacing the old funding programs?

Applications derived from satellite data have evolved. Solutions now take advantage of many data sources and new digital technologies. There are also new users in search of solutions.

smartEarth is better aligned with this global context. It fosters collaboration and sharing of expertise, and the use of many sources of data. It is more flexible and covers a broader range of projects, which provides industry with more opportunities.

smartEarth also responds to industry feedback and recommendations from a recent evaluation of the former programs conducted by the CSA.

This change will help Canada remain competitive and at the forefront of innovation.

What will happen to the projects being funded under the former programs?

Projects will continue to receive appropriate support up until the end of the funding period specified in their agreement with the CSA.

Satellite data

How can satellite data be used?

There is a great deal of satellite data available. This data can be used to advance innovative solutions to key challenges in a variety of fields. The benefits of using satellite data, and opportunities for innovation, are limitless.

For example, satellite data can be used to better monitor and protect ecosystems. It can also help improve agricultural practices, sustainability of natural resources and the safety of our infrastructures.

Where can I find publicly available satellite data?

Free and open satellite data is made available by various countries worldwide. Their catalogues can be seen online.

The Government of Canada provides access to publicly available satellite data through its Earth Observation Data Management System (EODMS).

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