Canadian Space Agency Opens up Next Technology AO With $15 Million Available

New Canadian Space Agency logo, light background version. Credit: Canadian Space Agency.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has published its next Space Technology Development Program announce of opportunity (AO) with upwards of $15 million available.

This round of funding for the Space Technology Development Program (STDP) is divided into three AO’s; 8.1 Space R&D – Advanced technologies; 8.2 Space R&D – Small businesses; and 8.3 Space R&D – Next wave of technologies.

All the AO’s have the same objective, to support the technology development activities of the Canadian space sector. These activities will enable selected Canadian organizations to further their basic R&D capabilities with the ultimate purpose of increasing the commercial potential.”

All the AO’s have the same application deadline, February 19, 2024.

While the three AO’s have several identical eligible project criteria, the Technology readiness levels (TRLs) do vary.

8.1 Space R&D – Advanced Technologies

Estimate total funding available: $10,000,000
Maximum amount per project: $1,000,000
Maximum timeframe of the project: 24 to 36 months
Estimated projects start date: May 1, 2024

Eligible Projects

The CSA’s Space Technology Development Program (STDP) aims to support the strengthening of industrial capabilities (new concepts, products and/or know-how) related to basic R&D of space technologies (space and/or ground segment).

Eligible projects do not include the following development as they are or will be supported through other funding opportunities:

  • Applications related to developing earth observation data processing solutions, eligible through CSA’s smartEarth initiative
  • Development of space-related medical technologies
  • Development of prospecting and In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) related technologies

To be eligible, projects should strive to achieve technology readiness level (TRL) of 5 or 6 at the end of the project and to generate economic benefits in the short to medium term, within two to five years following project completion.

Projects aiming at TRLs higher than TRL-6 are not eligible. Initial TRL for eligible projects should typically be between TRL-4 and TRL-5.

Any logical breakdown or combination of project phases can constitute a funded project. However, breaking down a project into numerous phases to obtain more than the maximum contribution in this AO is not allowed.

Furthermore, if a proposal is for pursuing a standalone R&D funded in another awarded contribution (past or ongoing), the proposed follow-up R&D, even if funded in a new contribution agreement, is considered another phase of R&D of the same G&C project which the program has a cumulative limit of $5M. If the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining phases.

Applications must be unique to this AO. An applicant can not summit the same project under different categories of the AO8 or to another open CSA AO. If multiple submissions of the same project are detected CSA will declare the submission as not eligible and will not proceed with evaluation.

8.2 Space R&D – Small businesses

Estimate total funding available: $3,000,000
Maximum amount per project: $350,000
Maximum timeframe of the project: 24 to 36 months
Estimated projects start date: May 1, 2024

Eligible Projects

The CSA’s Space Technology Development Program (STDP) aims to support the strengthening of industrial capabilities (new concepts, products and/or know-how) related to basic R&D of space technologies (space and/or ground segment).

Eligible projects do not include the following development as they are or will be supported through other funding opportunities:

  • Applications related to developing earth observation data processing solutions, eligible through CSA’s smartEarth initiative
  • Development of space-related medical technologies
  • Development of prospecting and In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) related technologies

Projects aiming at Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) higher than TRL-6 are not eligible. There is no restriction on starting TRL.

Any logical breakdown or combination of project phases can constitute a funded project. However, breaking down a project into numerous phases to obtain more than the maximum contribution in this AO is not allowed.

Furthermore, if a proposal is for pursuing a standalone R&D funded in another awarded contribution (past or ongoing), the proposed follow-up R&D, even if funded in a new contribution agreement, is considered another phase of R&D of the same G&C project which the program has a cumulative limit of $5M. If the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining phases.

Applications must be unique to this AO. An applicant can not summit the same project under different categories of the AO8 or to another open CSA AO. If multiple submissions of the same project are detected CSA will declare the submission as not eligible and will not proceed with evaluation.

8.3 Space R&D – Next wave of technologies

Estimate total funding available: $2,000,000
Maximum amount per project: $500,000
Maximum timeframe of the project: 24 to 36 months
Estimated projects start date: May 1, 2024

The CSA’s Space Technology Development Program (STDP) aims to support the strengthening of industrial capabilities (new concepts, products and/or know-how) related to basic R&D of space technologies (space and/or ground segment).

Eligible projects do not include the following development as they are or will be supported through other funding opportunities:

  • Applications related to developing earth observation data processing solutions, eligible through CSA’s smartEarth initiative program
  • Development of space-related medical technologies
  • Development of prospecting and In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) related technologies

To be eligible, projects should strive to achieve technology readiness level (TRL) of 3 or 4 at the end of the project and to generate economic benefits in the medium to long term, within five to ten years following project completion.

Projects aiming at TRLs higher than TRL-6 are not eligible. There is no restriction on starting TRL.

Any logical breakdown or combination of project phases can constitute a funded project. However, breaking down a project into numerous phases to obtain more than the maximum contribution in this AO is not allowed.

Furthermore, if a proposal is for pursuing a standalone R&D funded in another awarded contribution (past or ongoing), the proposed follow-up R&D, even if funded in a new contribution agreement, is considered another phase of R&D of the same G&C project which the program has a cumulative limit of $5M. If the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining phases.

Applications must be unique to this AO. An applicant can not summit the same project under different categories of the AO8 or to another open CSA AO. If multiple submissions of the same project are detected CSA will declare the submission as not eligible and will not proceed with evaluation.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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