Monday, October 13, 2014

The Growing "New" Canadian Space Industry

          by Chuck Black

Another sign that the nascent Canadian NewSpace industry is coming along very nicely thank you was the announcement last week that Toronto, Ontario based SkyWatch, the April 2014 winner of the 2014 International Space Apps Challenge, had just been accepted into the fall Google for Entrepreneurs Tenancy Program in Waterloo, Ontario.

The SkyWatch application is "a visual representation of data collected from observatories around the world in near real time about reported celestial events in the cosmos," which integrates the data collected into Google Sky, according to Skywatch literature.

As outlined in the October 5th, 2014 Financial Post article, "Five Canadian startups turn to Google for their big push," the Google program is a six month residency and accelerator-style course that allows select start-ups to tap Google’s immense resources, from developers and engineers to big data analytics and marketing expertise, to commercialize and roll-out promising new technologies.

The article also quoted SkyWatch co-founder James Slifierz as stating that “We like to see ourselves as indexing space in the way that Google indexed the Internet. We want to leverage their knowledge about how to handle massive amounts of data.”

But while multiple variations of the Google for Entrepreneurs programs are offered in more than 100 countries, the only Canadian location currently offering the program is in Waterloo, a Google engineering base. 

This may be about to change. According to Steve Woods, the Waterloo based engineering director at Google, Canada, "we’re actively looking to expand Google for Entrepreneurs in Canada over the next year or two.”

In Waterloo, the Google for Entrepreneurs program is run in partnership with Communitech, a regional hub for the commercialization of innovative technologies, which has supported nearly 1,000 companies since its creation in 1997 and generated more than $30Bln CDN in revenue.

Expect more of this revenue to derive from NewSpace companies over the next few years. 

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