The Canadian Space Agency unveils the Deep Space Healthcare Challenge

The Deep Space Healthcare Challenge. Credit: Canadian Space Agency/Impact Canada.

In collaboration with Impact Canada, the Canadian Space Agency today announced the Deep Space Healthcare Challenge which will distribute up to $2.85 million.

Impact Canada, which is under the direction of the Privy Council, has launched a new micro website for the challenge. The deadline for applications is February 1, 2022. The challenge “is open to all Canadians, including commercial and non-commercial organizations and individuals incorporated and located in Canada.”

Also supporting the challenge are Indigenous Services Canada and the Coordinated Accessible National (CAN) Health Network.

Deep Space Healthcare Challenge Stages

The challenge will be offered in three stages.

  • Stage 1: Teams will submit a concept of a new detection or diagnostic technology. Up to 20 semi-finalists will receive $30,000 and move on to Stage 2.
  • Stage 2: Semi-finalists will develop a proof-of-concept that they will test independently in a lab environment. Up to five finalists will receive $350,000 and move on to Stage 3.
  • Stage 3: Finalists will test their prototypes in a simulated environment with the CSA. The grand prize winner will receive $500,000.

The Canadian Space Agency said it “created the Health Beyond initiative to leverage our country’s expertise in healthcare, medical research and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence. The initiative is designed to identify and develop innovative, relevant, and sustainable solutions to healthcare challenges experienced by astronauts on deep-space missions. The information gathered as part of this initiative will also help Canadians living in remote or isolated locations.”

Deep Space Healthcare Challenge follows severals years of new space health initiatives from the CSA and incorporates the efforts of the CSA created Advisory Council on Deep-Space Healthcare. That council released the Health Beyond – Report in June of 2021 as part of the Health Beyond Initiative.

In a press release Minister François-Philippe Champagne of Innovation, Science and Industry said “Canadians living in remote or isolated communities share some of the same healthcare challenges as astronauts on missions to distant destinations. With the Deep Space Healthcare Challenge, the Government of Canada wants to find solutions that will benefit both astronauts and those living in medically isolated locations here on Earth.”

Bill Blair, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness said “The Deep Space Healthcare Challenge is achieving success here at home through the creation of new healthcare technologies for Canadians in remote areas, all while supporting the dream of deep space exploration. Investing in Canadian innovation will improve remote healthcare for all Canadians, whether they are living in a medically isolated area or aboard a ship in the depths of space.”

Introduction to the Deep Space Healthcare Challenge.

Read or download the Health Beyond report


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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