The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) today released their annual State of the Canadian Space Sector Report. The report which covers 2009 is compiled from data gathered in the spring of the following year, analyzed and then usually released in late November. However this years’ report was delayed over two months*. Two of the key points in the report are that revenues increased by 8% over 2008 to $3.025 billion and surpassing the $3 billion mark for the first time and that growth in the workforce was strong.
Domestic revenues increased to $1.534 billion and account for 51% of total revenues indicating domestic revenues grew at a faster rate then exports as compared to the 2008 report. Exports were $1.491 billion and 49% of total revenues.
According to the report 81% of the domestic revenues were from private sources, those revenues being derived from non-government sources, and where up 9.5% from $1.127 billion to $1.234 billion and weighted heavily by satellite communications. Domestic revenues from government sources increased by 14% from $262 million to $299 million.
Regionally, Ontario accounts for 68.7% down from 72.8% in 2008 with gains being made in Atlantic Canada (10.4%), Quebec (7.2%) and British Columbia (6%) and the Prairies down to 7.7% from 8.4%.
Export revenues were up slightly to $1.491 billion from $1.40 billion in 2008 which reflects the global economic downturn at the time. Compare this to exports which grew at a record pace of 41.5% in 2008 over 2007. While exports were up slightly, regionally the picture is less rosy. Ontario, where the bulk of exports usually come from, saw a decrease in export revenues while Quebec and the Atlantic provinces accounted for the increase.
One of the brighter spots in the report is that the Canadian workforce, in particular people who are classified as Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP), saw an increase of 822 positions of which 528 were HQP. The total workforce grew by 12% for a total of 7564 space-related employees.
The reports states that growth was uneven across the five space sectors surveyed. Increases were seen in Satellite Communications ($180M), Earth Observation ($58M), Robotics ($5M) and decreases in Navigation ($12M) and Space Sciences ($7M).
Space Research and Development expenditures reversed the downward trend the last five years and increased $15 million to $62.5 million with 55 organizations undertaking research and development projects.
Manufacturing revenues were down from $696 million in 2008 to $605 million in 2009.
Defense related revenues increased by 15% to $126 million of which $100 million were export related and $25 million domestic.
The report also indicates that growth in 2009 was primarily driven by small firms as the usual top earning companies experienced less growth than their smaller counterparts.
* After this story was published the Canadian Space Agency responded to our query as to why the report was delayed: “Some companies took longer than usual to provide their data and in late summer, CSA had a change of personnel working on the survey – knowledge transfer and ramp up.”
1. Download the 2009 State of the Canadian Space Sector Report (PDF)
2. Access to previous years State of the Canadian Space Sector Reports
3. Canadian Space Sector Revenues Reach $2.79 Billion on 17.8% Growth (2008)
Meeting: The Next Breakthrough Space Technologies for Canada, March 18, 2011, Toronto