I’ve been getting some excellent feedback from a variety of sources related to my July 19th Commercial Space blog post under the headline “Canadian Space Agency Provides "No Dedicated Programs" to Support Small Aerospace Firms."
The post is focused on comments from page ten of a publication titled: Small Aerospace Companies: Space Activities in North America and Europe written by investment bank Near Earth LLC which states that, when compared to organizations like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and others, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has "no dedicated programs for small business."
Here is one comment from a person who states quite unequivocally that:
Although, in a literal sense, it may be true that there are no dedicated programs, it is effectively quite an inaccurate comment. The CSA supports many small companies through a series of procurement opportunities.The commentator goes on to list a number of CSA programs that “allow small companies to obtain funding, along with the bigger companies.” They include:
In fact, it is interesting that one of the first highlighted examples of technology in the Near Earth report is the Neptec Space Vision System that is used in the Shuttle program and which was funded by the CSA. Although the big CSA funding goes to the major companies like MDA, the majority of the contracts are awarded to small and medium sized companies. Hopefully, someone at the CSA will offer a rebuttal to the Near Earth report.
- The Earth Observation Applications and Utilization (EOAU) Program, which is an umbrella designation for a number of programs through which companies can obtain support. For example, one component of the EOAU program, the Earth Observation Application Development Program (EOADP) funds projects that are exclusively for industry led initiatives.
- The Space Technologies Development Program (STDP), which supports the development of technologies for the enhancement of industrial capabilities.
- The Satellite Communications Program, which supports the development of advanced satellite communications technologies and international services.
- The Partnerships Support Program, which is directed to universities, but does include the funded participation of industrial partners.
- The various Canada - ESA Programs, which allows Canadian companies to participate in ESA led initiatives offset with CSA funding.
But I also can’t help but note that he categorizes the comment from the report about CSA providing no dedicated programs for small aerospace firms as being true in “a literal sense.”
So how do real small business space subcontractors feel about this state of affairs? Does CSA do enough to nurture and grow small aerospace businesses through the existing process?
The floor is open for questions, queries, statements of concern or support and general comments.