According to the Canadian Space Agency Office of Commercialization “approximately 80% of the CSA budget is contracted out for projects involving industry, universities and specialized research institutes.”
Canadian Universities with departments and facilities focused on aspects of the space and aerospace industry include but are not limited to the following:
- The Carlton University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering which came in third in the 2008 NASA Great Moon Buggy Race.
- The McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law which often hosts various forums and conferences including the American Bar Association Air and Space Law: a Global Perspective.
- The University of Toronto Institute of Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) which, according to Wikipedia “has seen a number of firsts: world's first microwave-powered aircraft, the world's first engine-powered ornithopter (both inventions of James DeLaurier) and Canada's first space telescope MOST." Areas of expertise include aircraft design (particularly at subsonic speeds), flight simulation, space robotics, micro satellite technology, computational fluid dynamics and nuclear fusion. The facility has close relationships with Bombardier, NASA Ames, and MD Robotics (formerly Spar Aerospace).
- The Ryerson University Engineering Graduate Program which focuses on aerodynamics and propulsion, aerospace structures and manufacturing, avionics and aerospace systems.
- The York University Faculty of Science and Engineering which has contributed the Phoenix Scout Mission; SCISAT, the Canadian Space Agency mission to research the ozone layer; the Canadian WINDII instrument on NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite; and the Canadian OSIRIS instrument on Sweden’s Odin satellite.
“Hot button” issues affecting co-operation between the CSA and educational facilities relate to technology transfer from universities to industry (which are difficult given the CSA’s habit of requiring that CSA funded projects turn over developed intellectual property to the CSA) plus CSA synergies with other academic funding mechanism’s (since funding generally comes from multiple sources and needs to be coordinated).