Canadian Space Agency Ramps up Capacity Building Efforts

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) this week released an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for a Cluster Pilot as part of their efforts to increase capacity building in their space science and technology segment. Funding for the AO is estimated at $2.25 million over three years for up to five cluster projects selected with a maximum of $450,000 per project.

According to the CSA the AO “aims to contribute to the development of Future Canadian Space Capacity in order to attract, sustain and enhance the nation’s critical mass of Canadian space specialists, foster Canadian space innovation, and preserve the capability of the nation space-related facilities
The CSA defines capacity building in space science and technology as “the continuing development of a critical mass of researchers and highly qualified people in Canada in strategic areas, by supporting multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional projects that will enhance research outcomes and better leverage Canada’s competitiveness in space science and technology.
Eligible cluster projects must be earth-based research, meaning none of the selected projects will be conducted during a flight or in space. The cluster project must include at least three teams which can include universities, not-for-profit organizations and companies, although the project can not be lead by a company. The principal investigator of each project must be from a university or not-for-profit.
The CSA has created two tiers of priority for research that will be funded. The 1st tier includes:
– Measurements of earth and planetary atmospheres using space-borne Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR);
– Carbon Cycle Science with space-borne data assimilation and modeling;
– Soil Moisture measurement and applications with space-borne data;
– Coupled GeoSpace – Atmosphere modeling and data assimilation;
– Development of lunar and planetary sciences;
– Analysis and curation of astromaterials;
– Development of training programs for the next generation of experimental space scientists;
– Space policy research (e.g. sustainability, international treaties and legal frameworks, planetary protection and defence, space security, socio-economic benefits, metrics innovation and/or management).
A second tier is also listed but pending available funds:
– Precipitation measurements from space;
– Air Quality Forecasting with space-borne data assimilation and modeling;
– Geomatics and integrated landscape management using space data for planetary applications.
Applications are due by April 29, 2011 by 17:00 EDT.

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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