Sunday, February 26, 2012

AIAC, CSA, IAF, CSF, CASI, CSS, Lawyers, Entrepreneurs and More at the 2012 CSCA Conference

The speaker line-up for the Canadian Space Commerce Association (CSCA) 2012 National Conference, scheduled for Wednesday March 28th at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, is slowly coming together.

Here's a list of the presently confirmed speakers, in the alphabetical order of the organizations they represent:
Jim Quick.
  • Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) VP Maryse Harvey and/ or CEO Jim Quick will be speaking on the topic of the upcoming Canadian government aerospace review and how Canadian space systems companies can have their voices included within the final report, which is expected to be presented to the federal government over the next year. Given that the conference occurs right after the potentially harsh March federal budget (which is presently assumed to include deep funding cuts to most departments), there is certainly the need for the space systems industry to understand and appropriately contribute to these sorts of public discussions.
  • From Arjae Spectral Enterprises, Dr. Arsen Hajian will present on the topic of "The Sensei Spectrometer: Total Throughput Spectroscopy." Dr. Hajain and his company are typical of the current crop of small and innovative Canadian firms revolutionizing their market space and creating Canadian jobs through the introduction of advanced technology.
Cliff Sosnow.
  • Blakes Law Firm will be well represented by Cliff Sosnow, the chair of the International Trade and Investment Group who, along with associate David Peaker, will be presenting on the topic of "Canada's Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act: What Canadian space companies need to know when doing business in foreign markets."
  • 2012 Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute President (and ComDev International VP of Government Relations) Ron Holdway will look back upon the government vision that first took Canada into space, explain the strategic role that space infrastructure plays in the delivery of public policy and review how space touches the daily lives of every Canadian. 
Robert Godwin.
  • The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has kindly provided Joan Harvey, the head of research & analysis, policy and external relations, who will be speaking on "the Status of the Canadian Space Sector." This talk is based on the the annual CSA status report (available online here) and will draw comparisons to other countries plus ask several "provocative questions" about the measures that industry and government should be taking to help incubate and grow the Canadian space systems sector.
Kevin Shortt.
  • Canadian Space Society President Kevin Shortt will be discussing job opportunities for space science and engineering graduates in the Canadian space systems industry. The current student perspective seems to be that graduates need to leave the country to get a job and a public review of the concerns in this area is long overdue.
Michael Woods
    • Law firm Heenan Blaikie will be represented by well known lawyer Michael Woods, a member of the firms trade and competition group, who'll be speaking on the topic of "Export Compliance - Canadian Business in a Changing Landscape." The presentation will focus on recent changes in the Controlled Goods Program (CGP) intended to reconcile Canadian regulations with the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and how this reconciliation will effect international aerospace business transactions.
      • International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Executive Director Dr. Christian Feichtinger will be talking on initiatives coming out of the European Space Agency (ESA) to build out aerospace infrastructure, develop original space focused entrepreneurs and how some of the lessons learned might be directly applicable for Canada. 
      • University of Toronto Institute of Aerospace Studies Space Flight Laboratory (UTIAS SFL) Project Manager Grant Bonin will be discussing the “Micro-exploration: Accomplishing Space Exploration on a Canadian Budget.” The UTIAS SFL is an expert organization which has a history of launching satellites for a fraction of the cost of the typical government program.
      Gordon Osinski.
      • UrtheCast President Scott Larson will be telling people about how his Canadian company is launching the world's first HD video platform of planet Earth via two cameras mounted to the International Space Station (ISS).
      There will also be short presentations by various aerospace start-ups as part of the Start-Up Lift-Off segment, plus an end of day panel discussion on "our Critical Canadian Space Infrastructure" and several short, remote presentations on the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge and "Mining the Moon."

      In the interests of full disclosure, it's worth noting that I'm treasurer of the CSCA and one of the organizers of the event. 

      But that doesn't matter. Attend anyway.

      For more information and to register, check out

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