November Provides a Trio of Important Canadian Space Conferences

November it seems is unofficially “space” month in Canada with a trio of national conferences including the 3rd Canadian Science Policy Conference, the first Canadian Aerospace Summit and the annual Canadian Space Summit with Ottawa and Calgary hosting these three events.

There are other space themed conferences in November but it is these trio of national conferences that will speak directly to Canadian space and science policy that put them at the forefront.
The First Canadian Aerospace Summit
Where: Ottawa Convention Centre
When: November 2-3
Organized by: The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC)
The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada is organizing what it labels as the First Canadian Aerospace Summit for November 2nd-3rd in Ottawa. The event was organized after the government had announced in it’s March budget before the election that it was going to conduct a review of aerospace policy and programs. After the government was re-elected it tabled basically the same budget with the review still planned. The review would take 12-18 months and will likely start this fall or early in next year.
According to the AIAC the summit offers three separate events: “A Conference featuring prestigious industry guest speakers who will present on current Canadian and International industry themes, a B2B – Trade Show event which will connect the representatives of large Canadian and International prime companies and potential suppliers as well as a special Gala Reception and Dinner to celebrate AIAC’s 50th anniversary.
The summit will bring together important leaders from all sectors who will have a chance to to talk amongst themselves including important government officials.
One of the most interesting events at the summit is the Canadian Aerospace Leaders Panel. The theme of the panel discussion is: “Does Canada need an aerospace industrial base? Space as a case study. Space industry leaders will discuss the space capabilities needed to ensure Canadian sovereignty and what needs to be done to ensure they are maintained or developed.
The panel will moderated by Canadian Space Agency President Steve MacLean and include Mag Iskander, President, Information System, MDA; Iain Christie, President, Neptec Design Inc.; Daniel Goldberg, President & CEO, Telesat; Michael Pley, CEO ComDev International (Invited).
For the Canadian Space Agency who have been trying to get their Long Term Space Plan approved in the form it was presented this panel is very timely with the government about to start yet another review of aerospace policy and programs. Perhaps the discussions at the summit and the panel will help push the government to release some form of an official space plan the community can use to help push along the industry.
3rd Canadian Science Policy Conference
Where: Ottawa Convention Centre
When: November 16-18
Organized by: The Canadian Science Policy Centre (CSPC)
The Canadian Science Policy Centre is currently a network of volunteer professionals who’ve come together to create the Canadian Science Policy Conference. They label themselves as non-partisan with no specific policy recommendations of their own. Instead they act to serve as a coordinator for the discussions of critical issues in science, technology and innovation policy in Canada.
The conference brings together a diverse and talented group of speakers from across Canada and some foreign invited speakers. The conference also provides a one day Science Policy 101 workshop.
Session topics on the agenda include:
– Humanitarian Science
– Challenges for Young Researchers
– Arctic and Northern Science Policy and International Diplomacy
– The Role of K* in Strengthening Science-Policy Integration
– Global Implications of Open and Inclusive Innovation
– Science Culture in Canada
– Funding Innovation, Measuring Societal Impacts and Informing Science Policy
– Education and Training Scientists
– Putting the Social in Canada’s Innovation Policy
– GPS Genome Canada – Genomics and Regulatory Science
– The Impact of Investments in Innovation Intermediaries
– Using Science Policy to Improve Health Outcomes in the North
Panel discussions include:
– Building Stronger Communities Through Innovation
– Drivers of Innovation in the Chemical-Related Industry Sector
– Examining the Prospects of a Canadian Science Policy Centre
There are several keynotes sessions including a special keynote by the Minister of State (Science and Technology) the Honourable Gary Goodyear.
The Canadian Space Summit
Where: Calgary
When: November 23-25
Organized by: The Canadian Space Society (CSS)
The Canadian Space Summit is the only conference of these three that is dedicated solely to the space sector. As such the focus is all things space with the following session topics:
– Low/Near-Earth Orbit
– Astronomy
– Planetary Exploration
– Life Sciences and Operational Space Medicine
– Law and Policy
– Space Commercialization
– Education and Outreach
This years theme is “Big Data from Space and Earth: Challenges and Opportunities” and the organizers describe the theme as follows: “In this day in age, as our understanding of the universe and the world on which we live becomes more sophisticated, so too do our tools with which we use to explore as we continue to push the limits of science and technology. As instrument resolutions increase, storage and data rates increase accordingly and ultimately disseminating this information to as wide a community as possible becomes the daily challenge. This year’s theme examines the issues around the increasing size of data sets collected from various space- and ground-based instrumentation. Challenges and opportunities exist not only for the Canadian space industry but the broader high tech marketplace, universities, and government.
A list fo speakers is not available yet but usually includes academia, industry, government, and students.
SpaceRef is the media sponsor for the Summit.

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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