The Industry

According to the Space Economy at a Glance 2014, a publication from the Paris, France based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD):
Canada has a well-developed space industry, including about 200 private companies, in addition to research institutions and universities, some of which have some commercial activities.
The ten biggest companies accounted for almost 88% of revenues and 64% of employment (Canadian Space Agency, 2013). Space manufacturing is mainly located in Ontario (more than half of the workforce) and in Quebec (19% of workforce). Some 7,993 people were employed in the space sector in 2012, an increase compared to 2011, with more than half defined as “highly” qualified’ (engineers, scientists and technicians). 
Total Canadian space sector revenues amounted in 2012 to CAD 3.3 billion (USD 3.3 billion), a 4.5% decrease as compared to 2011 (Canadian Space Agency, 2013). Satellite communications applications and services generated the largest revenue share, followed by the earth observation sector. The applications and services segment generated two thirds of total revenues...
Of course, the data used in the OECD publication had to come from somewhere and most of the OECD numbers were referenced from the 2012 State of the Canadian Space Sector Report, which was released in January 2014 from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The CSA report was discussed in the January 24th, 2014 post, "Canadian Space Industry Shrinks While International Markets Grow!"

The latest CSA report (and most likely, the last in the series), was the 2013 State of the Canadian Space Sector Report, which was released in January 2016 and discussed in the January 3rd, 2016 post, "Canadian Space Agency Finally Releases 2013 Space Sector Report."

All of which suggests that there is a great deal of scope to do further research on the topic, and the generally acknowledged best way to begin this research is to explore something called the Handbook on Measuring the Space Economy.

The free for download publication is designed to provide a summary of the key metrics surrounding the indicators and statistics on the space sector and the larger space economy.

It's also meant to be complementary to the Space Economy at a Glance, which is updated every few years and published through the same organization.

The CSA certainly respects the methodologies contained within the OECD publications.

As outlined in the August 24th, 2014 post, "Space Agency Seeks Insight into Space Industry," the CSA even explicitly referenced the Handbook the last time it solicited bids of up to $250,000 CDN from "qualified suppliers," able to undertake a "comprehensive socio-economic impact assessment" of the Canadian space sector.

The final deliverable for that CSA contract was a a report on the "Comprehensive Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of the Canadian Space Sector" which seems to have been developed in an effort to "capture the economic argument for investment in space."

Released in June, 2016, the report was discussed in the June 3rd 2016 post, "Canadian Space Agency Releases "Comprehensive Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of the Canadian Space Sector" and the June 12th, 2016 post, "A Quick Conversation with Euroconsult on the "Comprehensive Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of the Canadian Space Sector."

Of course, for those who don't want to wait for the next government report to tell us what's going on, here's a partial list of the business and entrepreneur focused organizations; the educational facilities and government departments; and the advocates, activists and groups which are either involved directly with or else help indirectly to support the space industry in Canada.


Business and Entrepreneur Focused Organizations


The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) - A not-for-profit business association advocating on aerospace policy issues that have a direct impact on aerospace and space companies and jobs in Canada. Heavily involved in the November 2012 Aerospace Review, the second volume of which was focused almost entirely on the Canadian space industry.  The organization has been heavily involved, in partnership with the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec (CRIAQ) with the development of the Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC) and recently published its 2016 - 2017 Guide to Canada's Aerospace Industry.

The Alberta Space Program - A listing of Alberta space imaging, science and business activities "attracting international investment" at the University of Alberta Institute for Space Science, Exploration and Technology (ISSET). Contains links to the Alberta government website on the provincial aerospace and defense industry which "contributes $1.3 billion in revenue annually to the provincial economy, is home to 170 aerospace and aviation companies, and employs over 6,000 highly skilled Albertans."

The Canadian regional chapter of the Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME) - A part of the larger Association of Manufacturing Excellence, with chapters across the US, the UK and Australia. Whether on Earth or in space, things still need to be manufactured and AME is the leading industry-diverse community with more than 4,000 professionals dedicated to enterprise excellence, continuous improvement, lean methodologies and kaizen techniques in manufacturing. Now, if only someone could bring them up to speed on open design concepts3D-printing and what's going on at places like Hacklab.TO.

The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA Alliance) – The largest hi-tech association in Canada. Originally focused on software and telecommunications, CATA provides good background materials on government programs related to innovation, such as the Federal government Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit, the CATA Innovation Nation National Campaign (designed to boost Canada’s competitiveness and innovation rankings) and other initiatives.

The Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) - A nonprofit technical organization for aeronautics, space and remote sensing. The organization hosts a variety of events including the recently concluded 65th International Astronautics Congress (IAC), which was held in Toronto from September 29th - October 3rd, 2014 and the bi-annual CASI Aero and CASI Astro conferences.

The Canadian Aerospace Industries Capability Database - A once comprehensive listing of 60,000 Canadian aerospace businesses tracked by capabilities and expertise created over a decade ago with input from a variety of provincial and federal aerospace associations in cooperation with Industry Canada. The database was a logical follow-on to the 2002 Federal government paper on Canada's Innovation Strategy, which led over the next few years to the 2005 Canadian Aerospace Partnership (CAP), which led almost immediately to the 2005 National Aerospace and Defence Framework which was eventually superseded by the 2012 Aerospace Review, although the database remains. For those who can't follow the process without a scorecard.

The Canadian Association of Business Incubation (CABI) – Dedicated to the development of new enterprises and supporting the growth of new and emerging businesses, this organization has access to over 60+ Canadian business incubators and accelerators with a broad range of expertise.

The Canadian Association of Defense and Security Industries (CADSI) – The “voice” the Canadian defense and security industries, the organizers of the annual CANSEC defence trade shows and the writers of the 2014 State of Canada's Defence Industry.

Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) - An industry lobby group representing 500 solar energy groups throughout Canada formed in 1992 from the amalgamation of the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CSIA) and the Canadian Photovoltaic Industries Association (CPIA).

The Canadian Space Commerce Association (CSCA) – A registered Canadian not-for-profit industry organization existing to advance the economic, legal and political environment for space and aerospace focused companies. Organizes intimate bi-monthly meetings and larger national events for the hobbyist and (sometimes) entrepreneur.

The Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) – With over 2000 members with over $105 billion in capital under management, the CVCA represents the majority of private equity companies in Canada. Focused on venture capital (investment in early stage, mostly technology based companies), mezzanine financing (subordinated debt or preferred stock with an equity kicker) and buyout funding (risk investment in established private or publicly listed firms that are undergoing a fundamental change in operations or strategy).

CANEUS International - A unique non-profit organization of professionals involving public/private partnership, serving primarily the needs of aeronautics, space and defense communities by fostering the coordinated, international development of micro-nano technologies (MNT) for aerospace and defense applications.

The Center for Space Entrepreneurship (eSpace) – Although not a Canadian example, this Boulder, CO based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supports the creation and development of entrepreneurial space companies, the commercialization of the technologies they create, and the workforce to fuel their growth. Well worth using as a model for further Canadian development.

The Commercial SpaceFlight Federation (CSF) – Another non-Canadian example worth emulating. The 40 businesses and organizations who are members of the CSF provide a comprehensive snapshot of the emerging international NewSpace industry. Canadian members include MacDonald Dettwiler (MDA) and others.

The Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC) – CARIC is a joint initiative of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) and the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec (CRIAQ) to create "a national research and technology network that unites stakeholders from industry, universities, colleges and research institutions" across Canada. Uses the CRIAQ, funding and collaborative model.

The Delta-V Space Accelerator - Australia's first space start-up, industry led accelerator is a partnership between Saber Astronautics Pty LtdLaunchbox Pty Ltd, the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the SpaceNet group at Sydney University. Focused on developing start-ups building  lightweight, 3-D-printed nanosats, low-cost, re-usable launch systems, smart sensors, machine learning, big data and/ or autonomous robot development.

Deltion Innovations – Billed as "Sudbury's first aerospace company" and focused on the design and fabrication of terrestrial and space mining systems, the organization also helps to organize the annual Planetary and Terrestrial Mining Sciences Symposium. Originally part of the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT).

The various European Space Agency (ESA) Business Incubation Centres (ESI) and the European Space Incubators Network (ESINET) – The ESA spends a lot of time and effort supporting small and innovative space focused firms. The work done through these two organizations is well worth investigating for lessons which are also applicable for Canada.

The Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPEC) – A national association comprised of over 1,700 members from Canada and abroad. Members include patent agents, trade-mark agents and lawyers specializing in intellectual property. This is the first stop on the line if you're a rocket scientist looking to protect your trade, and any other of the secrets you might need, to run a business. 

The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) - Not especially space related (unless you're familiar with the partnerships developed in Great Britain between the IT and space advocacy communities, which led to the creation of the UK Space Agency in 2010), but heavily involved in much the same issues of government procurement, innovation and commercialization. Even better, many of the entrepreneurial leaders in the current NewSpace community (Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, for example) started in IT. The panel chair of the 2012 Review of Federal Support to Research and Development (the "Jenkins panel," which directly effected Industry Canada (IC) and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) activities) was Tom Jenkins, then the executive chairman and chief strategy officer of Waterloo based Open Text Corporation, a member in good standing of ITAC.

Kentucky Space – Another of those international examples which ambitious Canadians need to learn more about. This US based non-profit consortium comprising the University of Kentucky, Morehead State University, the NASA Kentucky Space Grant Consortium and EPSCoR Programs plus Belcan Corporation (a Cincinnati, OH based engineering headhunting firm) is focused on the research and development issues of small entrepreneurial and commercial space solutions. Managed by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation.

Maple Leaf Start-ups - An interactive assessment tool from start-up marketer Marc Evans, on where to go to get funding and support for Canadian start-ups. The list is divided up into business incubators and accelerators, angel investors, plus seed, series A and series B funding sources. Derived from the Canadian Start-up Financing Landscape info-graphic.

The MaRS Discovery District – A Toronto business incubator focused on the medical and IT industries but open to new ideas. Maintains the MaRS Funding Sources Directory, a listing of provincial, national and international funding sources suitable for Ontario companies in both the public and private sectors.

Mitacs – A national, not-for-profit research organization focused on building "partnerships between academia, industry, and the world – to create a more innovative Canada." Offers a suite of research and training programs "which enable companies to connect with top Canadian and international researchers."

The MoneyTree Report on Venture Capital investment in the United States - A quarterly report compiled by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and the US based National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) which tracks venture capital activity in the United States by region, industry, funding stage, financing sequence, investing fund and receiving firm.

The National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) – An organization of Canadian angel capital investors. NACO connects individuals, groups, and other partners that support angel-stage investing; provides intelligence, tools and resources for its members; facilitates key connections across networks, borders and industries and helps to inform policy affecting the "angel asset-class."

National Crowd Funding Association of Canada (NCFA) - An organization billing itself as "Canada’s crowd funding hub," the NCFA works closely with industry groups, government, academia, other business associations and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowd funding industry and voice across Canada. 

NewSpace Global (NSG) – Provides accurate and critical information on international NewSpace focused organizations and opportunities. NSG publishes a variety of items for subscribers, including the always up to date NewSpace Watch online news service, the Observer company database, which tracks the top international NewSpace companies and Thruster Magazine, the monthly market tracking report for NSG. Subscribers include Fortune 500s, universities, government agencies, small and large corporations, and space industry investors.

The Ontario Aerospace Council - One of several regional, not for profit associations of aerospace firms across Canada tasked with enhancing industry competitiveness. Others include Aero Montreal, the Aerospace Industry Association of British Columbia (AIABC), the Manitoba Aerospace Association and the Unmanned Vehicle Systems Canada (UVS).

The Space Angels Network – an American based network of angel investors that also accepts investors and clients from Canada and Europe. Sponsored by the Center for the Advancement for Science in Space (CASIS), Spaceflight Services (a one stop shop for manifests, certification and integration of small satellites into a network of established and emerging launch and space transportation vehicles), the Habif, Arogetti and Wynne accounting firm, SpaceNest (an Israeli based space incubator) and the Jones Day law firm. Strategic partners include the Space Foundation ( a Colorado-based nonprofit "advocate" for the global space industry), the Space Frontier Foundation, the UK based Catapult Satellite Applications Corporation, the Australian based Delta-V Space Accelerator and venture fund Gust. Of particular note is the discussion on Space Investing.

The Space Frontier Foundation - US based advocacy group which believes that the barriers to space exploration are "primarily found in the bureaucratic status-quo of the government space program," and that change must come externally, through entrepreneurship. Organizers of the annual NewSpace business plan competition

Space Works Commercial – A US based aerospace engineering and design incubator focused on next-generation space transportation systems, future technologies, human and robotic exploration of space, emerging space markets and their applications.

Start-Up Canada – Entrepreneur led, national movement to enhance the nation’s competitiveness and prosperity by supporting and celebrating Canadian entrepreneurship.

The TechConnex Hub - Typical of efforts across Canada (although perhaps more successful), this association acts as an industry-directed hub for small and mid-size tech businesses throughout the greater Toronto area.

TheFunded.com – An online community of over 20,000 CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs who get together to discuss fundraising, rate and review angel investors and venture capitalists, and exchange ideas for strategies to grow start-up businesses. A part of the Founder Institute.



Educational Facilities

While Canadian aerospace and space firms contribute useful amounts to research and development, this private sector money is normally tied to larger pots of government and academic funding.  
Below is a preliminary listing of some of the better recognized academic institutions and organizations for space and aerospace focused firms to collaborate with, learn from and maybe even hire a few of their graduates.
The Association of Universities and Colleges (AUCC) - As the "voice of Canadian universities," at least according to their website, the AUCC is a useful first stop when building an inventory of Canadian educational facilities focused on science, engineering, space activities or anything else. According to the AUCC, "Canadian universities educate more than 1.5 million students annually. They perform more than one-third of Canada’s research and development. And, as a $30 billion enterprise, our universities generate economic wealth in communities across Canada." AUCC also publishes the annual "Directory of Canadian Universities,"  the 2014 edition of which lists "97 universities and university degree level colleges in a consistent, indexed format."

The Canadian Universities Website - A useful overview of academic expertise in this area covering universities and colleges from the self-proclaimed "Canada's higher education and career guide." Of particular note is the listing of Space Science Scholarships in Canada although other academic sectors can also be accessed from the search page.

The Canada's Top 50 Research Colleges List - An annually updated listing of Canada's top research colleges tracked by amounts spent and areas of expertise. Designed to educate those who believe that the only true research is done in universities.

Canadore College - The Canadore College School of Aviation Technology, located at Jack Garland Airport, recently began construction of a new Advanced Composites Fabrication, Repair and Test Centre (ARC-TC) and continues to perform tests on a mock-up of the proposed SOAR suborbital space plane for European based Swiss Space Systems (S3) as part of Federal conservative MP Jay Aspin's plan to turn the sleepy community college into an international high tech business hub.

Carleton University - The Carleton Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is the home of the Carleton Mechanical and Aerospace Society (CMAS) and the CU3SAT micro-satellite project, which competed in the 2012 Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC). A second team from Carleton competed in the 2014 CSDC.

Centennial College - The Centennial College Centre of Aerospace Training and Education (CATE) provides several post-secondary, apprenticeship, corporate and secondary school co-operative programs in aerospace manufacturing and support. The facility received $26Mln CDN from the Ontario government to relocate these programs to the former de Havilland aircraft manufacturing centre at Downsview Park, in June 2014. The new facility will be part of a larger aerospace training and research hub being developed for the commercialization of new technologies.

Concordia University - Home of the Concordia Institute of Aerospace Design and Innovation (CIADI), which promotes "awareness and provide leading edge know-how among engineering students engaged in aerospace design and innovation." Also home to Space Concordia, a team of Concordia University engineering students which was an entrant in the 2012 and 2014 Canadian Satellite Design Challenge.

Laurentian University – In partnership with Science North, Laurentian offers the comprehensive Science Communication graduate program, which covers "the theory underlying good communication as well as the practical challenges of effectively communicating science and the issues involving science in society.

McGill University - Home of the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law, focused on "training aviation and space focused lawyers to serve throughout the world." The faculty maintains close relationships with the American Bar Association (ABA) Forum Committee on Air and Space Law, organizes conference on the topic and publishes the Annals of Space Law Journal.

The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics- A basic research centre dedicated to "exploring the world around us at its most fundamental level." The institute supports over 80 resident researchers and a vigorous visitor program of cross-disciplinary research in condensed matter, cosmology & gravitation, particle physics, quantum foundations, quantum gravity, quantum information theory, superstring theory and other related areas.

Polytechnics Canada - The "voice of leading research-intensive, publicly funded colleges and institutes of technology." Strong advocate for moving at least some of the government money focused on R&D out of universities and into community colleges and trade schools.

Queens University - Home of the annual student run Queen's Space Conference (QSC), aimed at connecting university student-delegates with leading professionals in the space industry.

The Royal Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Science -  The oldest scientific society in Canada. It was founded in Toronto in 1849 by a small group of civil engineers, architects and surveyors led by Sandford Fleming (1827-1915). Fleming eventually became one of the most prominent Canadians of his time, responsible for the planning and building of the transcontinental railway and for the concept of standard time.

Royal Military College (RMC) - The Department of Space Science program at RMC offers both undergraduate and graduate programs with specialization focused around theoretical, experimental and observational aspects of space science: from space mission analysis, mission and payload design, remote sensing, satellite tracking, ionospheric physics and space weather, and astronomy and astrophysics.

Ryerson University - Possesses a well respected Engineering Graduate Program, which focuses on aerodynamics and propulsion, aerospace structures, manufacturing, avionics and aerospace systems and has some overlap in technologies, with the space industry.

Universities Canada - A non-profit national organization that represents Canada's colleges and universities and coordinates university policies, guidance and direction.

The University of Alberta - Home to both the Centre for Earth Observation Sciences (CEOS), which uses Earth observation and imaging technology to monitor environmental changes, manage resources and formulate sustainable development policies, and the Institute for Space Science, Exploration and Technology (ISSET), a pioneering interdisciplinary centre for planetary and space research. The university also hosts the annual Canada-Norway Student Sounding Rocket (CaNoRock) exchange program and is home to the AlbertaSat team, which competed in the 2012 and 2014 Canadian Satellite Design Challenge.

The University of British Columbia - Home of the UBC Orbit team which competed in the 2012 and 2014 Canadian Satellite Design Challenge and of Dr. Jaymie Matthews, who acts as chief scientist and principal investigator for the Microvariability & Oscillations of STars (MOST) micro-satellite.

The University of Calgary - Home of the Institute for Space Research, which is part of the Department of Physics and focused on the areas of space plasma, aural imaging and analysis and modeling. Projects include the Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP), a scientific payload for the CAScade, Smallsat and IOnospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE), satellite, a scientific mission focused on telecommunications advances and solar weather research funded by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) as part of the Technology Partnerships Canada program with MacDonald Dettwiler (MDA). A team from the University of Calgary also competed in the 2014 Canadian Satellite Design Challenge.

The University of Guelph - Home to the Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility (CESRF). As part of Ontario Agricultural College, CESRF and its Space and Advanced Life Support Agriculture program focus on plant research for space and other closed environment related activities. Has useful connections with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the strong support of NASA's Advanced Life Support (ALS) community.

The University of Manitoba - Home of the University of Manitoba Space Applications and Technology Society (UMSATS), which competed in the 2012 and 2014 Canadian Satellite Design Challenge. As outlined in the March 4th, 2015 UM Today article, "Partners in space, U of M and Magellan Aerospace to build satellites," the university is also home to a new Advanced Satellite Integration Facility, a 6,000-square-foot area, large enough to accommodate up to three satellites at various stages of assembly, plus an ISO Class 8 clean room facility to satisfy the requirements of current and future Canadian government satellite programs. The satellites comprising the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) are expected to be built in this facility.

The University of Saskatchewan - Home of the University of Saskatchewan Space Design Team (USST), a student run organization which dominated the 2011 NASA sponsored Space Elevator Games and competed in the 2012 Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC), plus the University of Saskatchewan Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies (ISAS).  ISAS maintains strong links to the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) through various contributions to the Canadian Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System (OSIRIS) for the Swedish ODIN satellite, the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) mission, the various Canadian Geo-space Monitoring (CGSM) programs and the Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC) plus international research connections through the Climate And Weather of the Sun-Earth System (CAWSES) program, the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) and the Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar (AMISR) program.

The University of Toronto - Home to both the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) Space Flight Laboratory (SFL), the first Canadian academic institution able to build low cost spacecraft, micro-satellites and nano-satellites, and the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA). As the "big boy" of academic space activities in Canada, the UTIAS-SFL collaborates with business, government and academic institutions on the development of new space technologies and strengthening the Canadian skill base in space systems engineering. Recent UTIAS-SFL satellites have included the Brite Constellation of micro-satellitesAISSAT-2 (a follow-on from the very successful AISSAT-1) and the Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Microsatellite (M3MSat). The facility also has close relationships with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Bombardier, the NASA Ames Research CenterMacDonald Dettwiler (MDA) and multiple foreign governments.

The University of Waterloo - Home of Canada's largest engineering faculty (divided up into several different schools and research centres, most notably Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering), the university faculty has contributed to a variety of space focused projects. These include the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI) instrument on the Herschel Space Observatory, the VASCULAR and BP-Reg medical experiments conducted in 2012-13 aboard the International Space Station (ISS) by Commander Chris Hadfield (who joined the Waterloo faculty in 2014) and a proposed micro-satellite mission (the Quantum EncrYption and Science Satellite or QEYSSat) that would demonstrate long-distance quantum key distribution from space. The university also hosts the Waterloo Space Society (WSS), which organizes and promotes space-related events at Waterloo and within the larger community. WSS has two active engineering sub-teams: WatSat which participated in the 2012 Canadian Satellite Design Challenge and the Waterloo Rocketry Team.

The University of Western Ontario (UWO) – Home to the Canadian Lunar Research Network (now a part of the new Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute), the Centre for Planetary Science & Exploration (CPSX) and the co-host of the Canadian Astrobiology Network. UWO contains Canada's only graduate program in planetary science, with over 40 PhD and MSc students and a new undergraduate minor degree in planetary science and space exploration. The university can also boast of its role in development of the Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSAT), the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the proposed 2016 ExoMars Orbiter and EDM mission, plus the proposed ExoMars 2018 mission and has a close relationships with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the NASA Ames Research CenterMacDonald Dettwiler (MDA) and multiple foreign governments.

York University - Home of the Lassonde School of Engineering, which includes the department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering and the Earth and Space Science graduate program.York scientists, engineers and students have contributed the Phoenix Scout MissionSCISAT (the Canadian Space Agency mission to research the ozone layer) the Canadian Wind Imaging Interferometer (WINDII) on NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) and the Canadian Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System (OSIRIS) for the Swedish ODIN satellite. York is also home of the York University Rover Team.


Government Departments

Commercial space activities are often a collaboration among academics, business and government organizations. But this funding is also highly political and subject to the constraints of whichever government currently controls the purse strings.   
An example of the changing policies is the June 16th, 2016 post, "Government Announces Comprehensive Review of Canadian Science," which covers the recent Federal government announcement of an independent review of the billions of dollars of federal funding currently available to scientists, academics and the entrepreneurs who commercialize their discoveries, through the government departments listed below. The review is expected to be completed "before the end of the year."
With that in mind, here's the 2016 listing of government agencies you need to know if you plan on building a Canadian based space company.
The Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) - Established in 1946, the CCC is a federal Crown corporation mandated to promote and facilitate international trade on behalf of Canadian industry (particularly within government markets).
This is quite useful since Canadian space firms typically sell half or more of their products on the international market.
The CCC's two business lines are structured to support Canadian companies contracting into the defense sector (primarily in the United States) and into emerging and developing international markets.
The Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) - Set up by the Federal government in 1997 to build Canada’s capacity to undertake world-class research and technology development.
CFI funds a variety of state-of-the-art equipment, laboratories, databases, specimens, scientific collections, computer facilities and organizations which support innovative research.
The Canadian Government Concierge Service - Tired of slogging through websites trying to access the appropriate government program?
The mandate of this government organization is to help users find and access programs and services provided by all those other government departments, which bureaucrats believe to be less effective at answering the phone and replying to the e-mails of those looking to learn more. 
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) – The federal government agency responsible for Canada’s civilian space program.
The CSA was established in March 1989 under the Canadian Space Agency Act and works with the Department of National Defense (DND) on military space focused activities and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) on activities related to international cooperation and technology transfer.
As per the 2012 Federal Review of Aerospace and Space Programs and Policies (or "Emerson Report"), the CSA acts "as a technical supervisor" in supporting specific committees, supports the Minister of Public Works in negotiating "co-operative agreements with other countries' space agencies," co-manages space technology development (along with the National Research Council), conducts its own research, operates its existing satellite inventory and maintains the Canadian astronaut program. 
CSA programs are often funded only partially through the CSA, and depend on funds from other areas, such the National Research Council (NRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), other government departments, academic institutions and the private sector, to top-up their funding requirements.
The current chief executive officer of the CSA is president Sylvain Laporte, who reports directly to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
The Canadian Trade Commissioners Service for Aerospace - A Federal government service which provides informed assessments of foreign markets for aircraft, spacecraft and space-based services.
The website includes market reports and important Canadian government contacts.
The Department of National Defence (DND) - Home of the Canadian Armed Forces and a variety of other sub-groups and departments, such as Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) which are either tasked with responsibility for the various components of our national defence or else with developing and/or procuring the appropriate tools to assist with this mission.
Of course, one might reasonably assume the DND would be required to develop the command, control, communications and situational awareness capabilities provided by space based satellite systems, as outlined in documents like the April 21, 2015 Strategic Studies post, "Evolving Army Needs for Space-Based Support." 
And sometimes that's even the way it works. But not in Canada. 
The Canadian government, mostly aware of the current situation and exploring potentially better ways to deal with military policy, is currently undertaking a Defence Policy Review, which is expected to report to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, sometime after public consultations wind up on July 31st, 2016.
For an overview of the current DND procurement requirements, plus an assessment of the increasing importance of government off-set credits, job creation expectations and economic development requirements in overall Federal government procurement policy, it's worth taking a look at the May 28th, 2015 IHS Janes 360 article, "Canadian defence industry overview [CAN2015D2]."
For the most current overview of the Canadian defence industry, check out the May 25th, 2016 Canada Defence Review article on the "Critical Impact of Canada's Defence Industry on Economy." 
Export Development Canada (EDC) - Canada's export credit agency, this crown corporation works with the CCC and other government agencies to offer up "innovative financing packages" to those looking to expand their international business.
In 2013, EDC claimed over $5Bln CDN in support to the Canadian aerospace sector, mostly in the form of financing and alternative financing solutions, accounts receivable insurance and bonds to ensure supplier obligations. 
The agency also maintains and manages the ExportWise website, which contains timely articles on export opportunities, analyses of key markets and emerging opportunities, how-to guides and profiles of successful exporters.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (IC) – The Canadian government department charged with fostering a growing, competitive, knowledge-based Canadian economy.
The head of the CSA reports directly to the head of this ministry and both agencies are governed by a variety of existing IC policies on science and technology such as the Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage Report (May 2007) and the Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage Progress Report (June 2009).
These policies once enjoyed wide support among all Canadian political parties and were most recently reviewed by the 2012 Federal Review of Aerospace and Space Programs and Policies (or "Emerson Report," presented to then Industry Minister Christian Paradis in November 2012)  and the Review of Federal Support to Research and Development (or "Jenkins panel," which was presented to then Minister of State Gary Goodyear in October 2011). 
The ministry also manages the National Research Council (NRC) and various other organizations relating to science and technology.
The National Research Council (NRC) – The primary Canadian government resource for science and technology (S&T) funding.
The NRC works with the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) and the Networks of Centres of Excellence
The NRC reports to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (IC), which currently focuses Canadian spending in this area around questions of commercialization, rather than basic research.
As discussed above, the current Liberal government has announced an independent review of the billions of dollars of federal funding available for science and academics. To learn more, check out the June 6th, 2016 post "Government Announces Comprehensive Review of Canadian Science."
The Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) - A collaborative network of organizations across Ontario designed to help entrepreneurs, businesses and researchers commercialize their ideas.
One of the better provincial government offerings in this area although other provincial governments offer many of the same services with greater or lesser degrees of success. 
Collaborative organizations include the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR), OMERS Ventures, the Ontario Aerospace Council (OAC), the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), the Network of Angel Organizations - Ontario (which administrators the Ontario Angel Network Program) and quite a few others.
Many Canadian space companies (and even a few academic institutions) receive funding through the OCE or through organizations affiliated with it.
The United States Office of Space Commercialization – Only in Canada would it be possible to suggest that one of the best places to find information on government space policies and initiatives would be a foreign government website.
But in an age focused on the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and its Canadian equivalent, the Controlled Goods Program (CGP), this site provides great background material from the US Department of Commerce relating to commercial space activities, general policy information affecting all areas of commercial space activities and documents related to the US National Space Policy.
Highly recommended for space geeks and business entrepreneurs looking to sell into, but not necessarily live in, the highly lucrative US market.


Space Advocates, Activists and Groups

There are a lot of space advocates in Canada.
Some of them are affiliated with academic institutions. Others are wrapped around ideas such as the "open source" development of space missions/ equipment or "working in space" or something else. 
A few are tied to activities where the members actually have to accomplish something, such as launching rockets, building satellites, raising money for scientific research or some other activity. Normally, this last group is the sanest, because of the practical requirements needed to accomplish something, which tends to overwhelm the dreamers. 
Below is a representative sampling of some of the more interesting Canadian examples in this category.

The Astronomy and Space Exploration Society (ASX) - A non-profit organization run out of the University of Toronto with a mandate to "educate, excite, and inspire students, professionals, and the general public about astronomy and space." Best known for its annual January "Expanding Canada" symposiums.

The AstroNut's Kids Space Club - A space focused educational group for elementary school students created in May 2010 by the father/ son team of Ray and Brett Bielecki. The various "missions" of spaceship "Mercury One" and its successor "Mercury Two" have been profiled on CBC, CTV, CITY-TV, A-Channel, the Daily Planet (for the Discovery Channel) and Rogers TV. Best known for its annual "What's Up in Space Camp and STEM Conference," which is targeted to elementary and secondary school students.

The Calgary Space Workers Society - Local advocacy group focused on how "to live and work in space." The group hosted the 2007 "Canadian Space Summit."

The Canadian Association of Rocketry listing of affiliated organizations - Who says that Canadian's don't build rockets? Certainly not these self-supporting, non-profit organizations. Their sole purpose is to promote development of amateur rocketry as a recognized sport and worthwhile activity, learn something and have fun.

The Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) - A nonprofit technical organization for aeronautics, space and remote sensing. Host for a variety of annual events including recently the concluded 65th International Astronautics Congress (IAC), which was held in Toronto from September 29th - October 3rd, 2014 and the 2016 CASI ASTRO, which was held in Ottawa, Ontario from May 17th - 19th.

The Canadian Association of Science Centres - An organization promoting and encouraging public involvement with Canadian public science centres and the organizations needed to support them.

The Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) – Academic focused organization founded in 1971 and incorporated in 1983 as a society of astronomers devoted "to the promotion and advancement of knowledge of the universe through research and education." The CASCA Joint Committee on Space Astronomy also advises the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) on matters pertaining to the space astronomy segment of the CSA space science program, including priorities, areas of research, selection mechanisms, funding areas and the extent of funding.

The Canadian Remote Sensing Society (CRSS-SCT) - Focused on the Canadian activities relating to geomatics (the discipline of gathering, storing, processing, and delivering geographic information, or spatially referenced information), this scientific association organizes conferences and helps publish the Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing (CJRS).

The Canadian Satellite Design Challenge - A privately funded, biannual event focused on teams of Canadian university students (undergraduate and graduate) who design and build an operational small-satellite, based on commercially-available, "off-the-shelf" components. 

The Canadian Science Policy Centre - Passionate professionals from industry, academia, and science-based governmental departments who organize the annual Canadian Science Policy Conference.

The Canadian Space Society (CSS) – A non-profit corporation promoting Canadian space activities. Has organized the annual Canadian Space Summit since 2008.

Engineers Canada - The national organization of the 12 provincial and territorial associations that regulate the profession of engineering in Canada and license the country's more than 260,000 members of the engineering profession. The organization also issues national position statements on key issues relating to the public interest, including infrastructure, labour mobility and regulating the profession.

The Geological Association of Canada - A national geo-science society, publisher and distributor of geo-science books and journals. Also holds a variety of conferences, meetings and exhibitions for the discussion of geological problems and the exchange of views in matters related to geology. Geologists often use Earth imaging and geo-spatial satellite technology derived from our space program to inventory natural resources.

Hacklab.TO - One of a number of small Canadian organizations like the Interaccess Electronic Media Arts Centre, the Kwartzlab Makerspace, the Makerkids non-profit workshop space for kids, Think|Haus, the Site 3 coLaboratoryUnLab and others who focus on the technologies associated with open source additive manufacturing/ 3-D printing. These techniques show great promise for a variety of low cost space manufacturing technologies.

The North York Astronomy Association (NYAA) - This Ontario based club is the organizer of the annual StarFest star party, which is recognized as one of the world's top 10 gatherings of amateur astronomers for the purpose of observing the sky.

The OpenLuna Foundation - A privately funded public outreach program (officially a US based 501(c) 3) to encourage the use of open-source tools and methodologies (open design) for space focused activities. The founding member and project manager/ director of the organization is Paul Graham, who lives in London, Ontario.

The Planetary Society Canada - A subgroup of the larger US based Planetary Society. a non-government, nonprofit organization involved in research and engineering projects related to astronomy, planetary science, exploration, public outreach, and political advocacy founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman. The current CEO is Bill Nye.

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) - 4,800 members, including about 500 "unattached" members from remote parts of Canada and around the world and strong chapters in Vancouver and 28 other centres across the country makes RASC one of Canada's largest space and astronomy advocacy groups. Since 2009, the organization has purchased the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill, Ontario and SkyNews; the Canadian Magazine of Astronomy and Stargazing.

The Royal Canadian Institute (RCI) - The oldest scientific society in Canada, founded in Toronto in 1849 by a small group of civil engineers, architects and surveyors led by Sandford Fleming. The current membership is focused around events and lectures promoting scientific advancement.

Science Rendezvous - Grassroots not-for-profit organization and public platform to promote science awareness and increase science literacy in Canada. Holds the yearly, spring Science Rendezvous at the University of Toronto, St. George campus.

Space Canada – A not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of solar energy from space. Organized the 2009 Symposium on Solar Energy from Space. Space Canada president and CEO George Dietrich has a long history of supporting US and Canadian NewSpace activities.  

The Space Society of London (SSoL) - Aims to unite members of the University of Western Ontario and greater London communities who have a common interest in space.

The Space Tourism Society Canada - The northern outpost of the US based Space Tourism Society (STS) promotes space tourism and the acquisition of "financial, political and public support to make space tourism available to the general population in the near future."

Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) Canadian chapter - Part of an international group of student-run organizations dedicated to promoting public interest in space. Countries with active SEDS groups include the US, the UK and India.
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The Toronto International Space Apps Challenge - An annual "hackathon" organized each spring as part of the NASA International Space Apps Challenge.

The Toronto Students for the Advancement of Aerospace (TSAA) - An inter-university student organization striving to promote the advancement of aerospace through student leadership and hands-on initiatives, focused on building an annual conference series focused around the "do-it-yourself engineer" in order to "educate, motivate and enrich the experience of students in aerospace and related fields."

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to say thank you for posting this set of resources, it has been very helpful in helping me become familiar with the space industry! I am a FSWEP student currently researching aerospace and space policies, industry and government initiatives, and Canada's place in these two sectors - you are a life-saver!

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