Canadian Space Agency opens up Space R&D opportunity

Credit: SpaceQ/Canadian Space Agency.

The Canadian Space Agency has announced the next Space Technology Development Program (STDP) opportunity, AO 7.3 Space R&D, with upwards of $3.5M in funding available.

The STPD Space R&D opportunity opened on June 28th and the deadline for applications is August 12, 2022 with an estimated project start date of Dec. 1, 2022.

AO (Announcement of Opportunity) 7.3 has $3.5M in funding with a maximum of $500,000 non-repayable contribution available per project. The project timeframe is 24 months from start of the project, though the CSA states that there is a possibility of an extension to 36 months.

The Space R&D AO 7.3 is targeting the “next wave of technologies.” These are technologies “that expect commercial potential in the medium to long term (i.e. 5 to 10 years).”

Space R&D AO 7.3 is not open to academic institutions but is rather targeting for profit and not-for-profit organizations. Of note, the CSA states that “projects do not include the following development as they are or will be supported through other funding opportunities:”

  • Application development related to Earth Observation data, Satellite Telecommunications data, and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) data;
  • Development of space-related medical technologies.

In the introduction to the Space R&D AO 7.3 the CSA states in part;

“Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan is focused on three priority areas to spur innovation: People, Technologies, and Companies. Working with industry, the Government of Canada will encourage innovation by increasing its support for basic research and development (R&D) in space technology development. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is issuing this Announcement of Opportunity (AO) to support the development of Canadian industrial capabilities in the area of space technologies with the aim of increasing the commercial potential of Canadian space companies to capture global opportunities.”

“It is indeed paramount that the Canadian space industry remains strong, healthy and relevant, and that it has the required readiness to respond to national demand and the necessary competitiveness to secure an increased share of commercial and institutional markets worldwide. Only through innovation and continued investments in R&D can Canada ensure that it has the industrial depth and breadth to remain a valued player in the international arena.”

Also of interest, the CSA makes mention of Mitacs, a national not-for-profit that describes itself as “the key link between private sector and post-secondary institutions, driving collaborations at home and abroad to develop projects which solve organizational challenges, and develop the nation’s innovation capacity.” The CSA states that Mitacs may be helpful in building partnerships. Mitacs has 400 employees across Canada and there are projects are “supported jointly by provincial, territorial, and federal governments and agencies, organizations, and academic institutions within Canada.”

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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