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News from the Canadian space industry - 2019

The Canadian Space Agency strengthens its long-term partnership with the European Space Agency

How the Cooperation Agreement between Canada and ESA has benefitted Canada's space sector

Text version of the infographic about the advantages of this long-standing relationship for Canadians

Canada is the only non-European cooperating state of the European Space Agency, a partnership that has spanned over 40 years. This infographic summarizes the advantages of this long-standing relationship for Canadians. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) took part in the Ministerial Council of the European Space Agency (ESA) on , in Seville, Spain. This high-level meeting is held every two to three years to make important decisions regarding Europe's future space activities. Canada is the only non-European cooperating state of ESA.

Following broad consultations with Canada's space sector, the CSA is investing approximately $90 million (€56.65 million) in the ESA programmes that have been strategically selected as areas most likely to benefit Canadian industry: Earth observation, satellite communications, exploration and technology development. These investments are aligned with the Space Strategy for Canada. Past investments in ESA have resulted in opportunities for Canadian companies worth almost three times the value of the initial contract.

Canada and ESA have been cooperating in space activities for over 40 years in order to provide Canadian organizations with access to European markets, and to foster collaboration in science. The partnership also provides Canada's space sector with access to data from ESA missions and infrastructure. In , Canada renewed its treaty-level agreement with ESA until .

The Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program generates significant interest within Canada's space community

Text version of a quote from Sylvain Laporte

It is truly inspirational to see the creative ideas submitted by our Canadian businesses and academic institutions, which will help Canada write the next chapter of Moon exploration.

CSA president Sylvain Laporte

Credit: Canadian Space Agency

The Canadian Space Agency's (CSA) Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) is generating significant interest within Canada's space community. After probing Canadian businesses and academic institutions for ideas, the CSA received 164 applications, demonstrating the vitality of Canada's space program and its eagerness for lunar exploration.


Earth as seen by David Saint-Jacques

Credit : Canadian Space Agency/NASA

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will be participating in the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) ASTRO  conference in Laval, Quebec, on -. CASI ASTRO conferences offer opportunities for delegates from industry, academia and government to meet and network with space sector actors from Canada and around the world. The CSA will give presentations on its programs and initiatives to support space innovation in Canada.

Canadian Space Agency President Sylvain Laporte leads an industry delegation to the Global Space Congress in the United Arab Emirates

Credit: Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre

From to , the President of the Canadian Space Agency, Sylvain Laporte, led a Canadian industry delegation to the Global Space Congress in the United Arab Emirates. The delegates, from 14 space sector companies across Canada, met with senior officials from the UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre to explore business and government collaborative opportunities.

The CSA awards funding to prepare Canadian companies, universities and students for future missions to the Moon

JUNO rover (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has awarded funding worth $700,000 to a Canadian firm and two universities for projects that will enable Canadian firms to advance key technologies and develop their own potential, while offering training opportunities and hands-on experience for students and young professionals.

These projects will be part of the CSA's Lunar Exploration Analogue Deployment (LEAD), which will position Canada for potential future contributions to lunar rover missions.

Grants awarded under the Flights and Fieldwork for the Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST) - LEAD Announcement of Opportunity
Organization City Province Project Grant value
University of Western Ontario London Ontario CanLunar - A Canadian Lunar Sample Return Analogue Mission $135,275
University of Winnipeg Winnipeg Manitoba Exploring Geological Variations and ISRU Potential at the Lanzarote Lunar Analogue Site $162,500
University of Western Ontario London Ontario Field Deployment of in situ Learning Algorithms for Classifying Planetary Materials $153,670
Total $451,445
Contribution awarded under the Space Technology Development Program - LEAD Announcement of Opportunity
Organization City Province Project Contribution
Canadensys Aerospace Corporation Bolton Ontario LEAD Capability Demonstration $249,963

Canada invests in health technologies for deep-space exploration

Moonrise in space

Credit: NASA

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is working with its partners from around the world to define options and opportunities for collaboration in the future of human space exploration beyond the International Space Station (ISS).

As astronaut crews travel to more distant destinations, they will need systems and technologies designed to help provide medical care with less reliance on Earth.

My experience has taught me that whenever we venture to a different place in space, we can expect a new medical problem to arise. As we leave low Earth orbit and venture on to these deeper space destinations, we must create medical care systems that make the astronauts more autonomous for delivering their own care.

Former CSA astronaut Bob Thirsk

Building on a legacy of Canadian health research in space, and capitalizing on Canada's strengths in clinical research and digital technologies on Earth, the CSA aims to:

  • identify opportunities where space and health partners could work together;
  • create deep-space health care solutions that can improve the quality of life for Canadians here on Earth; and
  • contribute to Canada's economic growth.

The CSA recently awarded 13 contracts to the Canadian health and biomedical communities to assess relevant and current technological capabilities, some of which may be enabled by artificial intelligence. These technologies include decision support systems, diagnostics tools, radiation protection, and medical training and simulation.

These contracts emerge from Expert Group consultations, the Space Health Information Sessions, and the recommendations listed in the Summary Report (PDF, 244 KB) of the National Forum on Space, Health and Innovation that took place at CSA headquarters in .

In fall , the CSA established an Expert Group on the Potential Canadian Healthcare and Biomedical Roles for Deep Space Human Spaceflight, which included members from health care institutions, industry associations, remote medicine and Indigenous health care organizations, academic and research institutions, and former physician-astronauts.

The Expert Group helped the CSA engage with the broader Canadian biomedical, health, and performance communities. The Group noted that Canada has the capability take on a leadership role in astronaut health care and recommended that the CSA get involved in astronaut health care for deep-space missions.


Great Lakes from the Space Shuttle

Credit: NASA

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) and the Ontario Center of Excellence (OCE) are organizing a 1-day inaugural InvestmentSpace event. It will take place on in the heart of Toronto's financial district.

InvestmentSpace will bring together venture capital investors, aspiring Canadian space entrepreneurs and start-up companies looking for pre-seed (under $500,000) or seed funding (under $5 million), as well as business accelerators and incubators focused on space start-ups. The event will feature panel discussions by successful space entrepreneurs and investors as well as a session for start-up companies to showcase and pitch their business ideas. An online platform will be provided to book your B2B meetings prior to the event.

Participation in the event is free. However, please note that you are responsible for all travel costs associated with your attendance.

Download the program of the event (PDF, 135 KB)

Please note that registration into the event is now closed.

We look forward to welcoming you to this event!

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