Space Canada’s second annual conference, Spacebound 2023, appears to be bigger than before. Certainly the venue is bigger: This year’s event, which is being held in Ottawa on October 17-19, 2023, is headquartered at the Canadian Museum of Nature, a larger facility than last year’s Bayview Yards location. Space Canada is the Canadian space industry’s trade association.
“Space Canada’s vision for Spacebound was to create an event in which businesses, government and elected officials, NGOs, academics, and media could come together to discuss how to strengthen the Canadian space sector,” said Brian Gallant, CEO of Space Canada. “In just its second year, Spacebound has become one of Canada’s preeminent space conferences, welcoming hundreds of industry, government, and thought leaders to Ottawa. The momentum of the conference is a testament to the emergence of the new space economy in Canada, and of course to the excitement surrounding Canada’s latest investments in space exploration.”
The featured speakers for this year’s conference is a good one. It includes Canadian Space Agency President Lisa Campbell, Department of National Defence Minister Bill Blair, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director for Space Policy John Neal, NASA Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate Strategy & Architecture Lead Nujoud Merancy, Space Economy Rising CEO/Founder Kevin O’Connell, and Euroconsult Canada Managing Director Nathan de Ruiter.
Also on hand will be “former astronaut and federal cabinet minister Marc Garneau, and many more special guests,” Gallant said.
As for the content at Spacebound 2023? “This year’s panel discussions will delve into crucial topics such as perspectives on the space economy, opportunities in earth observation, space exploration, delivering health care in remote areas, and the role of government in driving growth in the space sector,” he replied. “We’re also working with partners to curate a session dedicated to discuss how best to encourage students and young professionals to pursue careers in space science and technology. Lastly, we have several networking events, including our 2nd Annual Parliamentary Reception.”
Although Spacebound 2023 is a natural destination for space enthusiasts, the intent of this event is fostering business. “Spacebound plays a role in advancing the Canadian space industry by providing a platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and fostering partnerships between industry stakeholders, academia, and government,” said Gallant. “It’s an opportunity to showcase Canadian expertise, innovations, and capabilities to a global audience, attracting investments and fostering growth in the Canadian space sector. The conference plays a crucial role in aligning Canada’s space capabilities with national priorities, driving innovation, and ensuring a competitive edge in the ever-evolving space landscape.”
Having said that, Brian Gallant hopes that Spacebound 2023 goes above and beyond the accomplishments of Spacebound 2022. “Last year’s conference allowed for hundreds of people important to the Canadian space ecosystem — including government and elected officials, business leaders, and thought leaders — to better understand the role they can each play in order for Canada to seize the economic opportunities presented by the emerging global space economy,” he told SpaceQ. “We are looking forward to this year’s conference at the Canadian Museum of Nature, where we aim to set the stage for the Canadian space community to continue fostering important collaborations, igniting innovative new projects, and catalyzing investments in space technology.”
Editor’s note: See our coverage from last years event.
Update: Subsequent to our publishing this article the organizers have announced that astronaut David Saint-Jacques will be the special guest speaker for the Space Canada’s 2nd Annual Parliamentary Reception and that the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry will speak at the conference.