The Industry

Source:  The Industry    Tag:  imaging sciences international

According to the  Space Economy at a Glance 2014:
Canada has a well-developed space industry, including about 200 private companies, in addition to research institutions and universities, some of which have some commercial activities. 
The ten biggest companies accounted for almost 88% of revenues and 64% of employment (Canadian Space Agency, 2013). Space manufacturing is mainly located in Ontario (more than half of the workforce) and in Quebec (19% of workforce). Some 7,993 people were employed in the space sector in 2012, an increase compared to 2011, with more than half defined as “highly” qualified’ (engineers, scientists and technicians). 
Total Canadian space sector revenues amounted in 2012 to CAD 3.3 billion (USD 3.3 billion), a 4.5% decrease as compared to 2011 (Canadian Space Agency, 2013). Satellite communications applications and services generated the largest revenue share, followed by the earth observation sector. The applications and services segment generated two thirds of total revenues...
Of course, the data used in the OECD publication had to come from somewhere and most of the OECD numbers were referenced from the  2012 State of the Canadian Space Sector Report, the last publicly available document in what used to be an annual  Canadian Space Agency (CSA) inventory of Canadian commercial space activities.

All of which suggests that there is a great deal of scope to do further research on the topic, and the generally acknowledged best way to begin this research is to explore something called the  Handbook on Measuring the Space Economy.

The free for download publication is designed to provide a summary of the key metrics surrounding the indicators and statistics on the space sector and the larger space economy.

It's also meant to be complementary to the Space Economy at a Glance, which is updated every few years and published through the same Paris, France based organization, the  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The CSA certainly respects the methodologies contained within the OECD publications.

As outlined in the August 24th, 2014 post, " Space Agency Seeks Insight into Space Industry," the CSA even explicitly referenced the Handbook the last time it solicited bids of up to $250,000 CDN from " qualified suppliers," able to undertake a " comprehensive socio-economic impact assessment" of the Canadian space sector.

The final deliverable for that CSA contract, originally expected to be completed in January 2015 by winning bidder  Euroconsult-EC, has so far not been released for public consumption.

Of course, there are others who also track the aerospace and space industry.

In July 2014, the  Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) and Industry Canada jointly released an 18 page document called the  State of the Aerospace Industry: 2014 Report, which contained an overview of the Canadian aerospace and space industry, using updated " GDP estimates developed by Industry Canada based on different Government Statistical and Tax Agencies as well as from the Canadian Space Agency Annual Space Survey, 2014."

This latest report, scarcely more than a power-point presentation and certainly far smaller than the annual CSA report it will seemingly replace, will supposedly cover the far larger and more comprehensive Canadian aerospace industry (where the space industry is a subset). It is also expected to be released annually, at least if the follow-on report on the  State of the Canadian Aerospace Industry: 2015 Report is any indication.

But its also worth noting that the 2015 study mentions very little about the Canadian space industry within its 24 power-point produced pages and focused instead almost entirely on the " aero" component of the domestic aerospace industry.

For those who don't want to wait for the next government report to tell us what's going on, here's a partial list of the business and entrepreneur focused organizations; the educational facilities and government departments; and the advocates, activists and groups which are either involved directly with or else help indirectly to support the space industry in Canada.


Business and Entrepreneur Focused Organizations


The  Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) - A not-for-profit business association advocating on aerospace policy issues that have a direct impact on aerospace and space companies and jobs in Canada. Heavily involved in the November 2012  Aerospace Review, the second volume of which was focused almost entirely on the Canadian space industry. AIAC executive vice-president Iain Christie was recently elected president of the  Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) for 2014 - 2015. The organization has also been heavily involved, in partnership with the  Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec (CRIAQ) with the development of the  Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC).

The  Alberta Space Program - A listing of Alberta space imaging, science and business activities " attracting international investment" at the University of Alberta  Institute for Space Science, Exploration and Technology (ISSET). Contains links to the Alberta government website on the  provincial aerospace and defense industry which " contributes $1.3 billion in revenue annually to the provincial economy, is home to 170 aerospace and aviation companies, and employs over 6,000 highly skilled Albertans."

The Canadian regional chapter of the  Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME) - A part of the larger  Association of Manufacturing Excellence, with chapters across the US, the UK and Australia. Whether on Earth or in space, things still need to be manufactured and AME is the leading industry-diverse community with more than 4,000 professionals dedicated to enterprise excellence, continuous improvement,  lean methodologies and  kaizen techniques in manufacturing. Now, if only someone could bring them up to speed on  open design concepts3D-printing and what's going on at places like   Hacklab.TO.

The  Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA Alliance) – The largest hi-tech association in Canada. Originally focused on software and telecommunications, CATA provides good background materials on government programs related to innovation, such as the Federal government  Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit, the CATA  Innovation Nation National Campaign (designed to boost Canada’s competitiveness and innovation rankings) and other initiatives.

The  Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) - A nonprofit technical organization for aeronautics, space and remote sensing. The organization hosts a variety of events including the recently concluded 65th  International Astronautics Congress (IAC), which was held in Toronto from September 29th - October 3rd, 2014 and the bi-annual  CASI Aero and  CASI Astro conferences.

The  Canadian Aerospace Industries Capability Database - A once comprehensive listing of 60,000 Canadian aerospace businesses tracked by capabilities and expertise created over a decade ago with input from a variety of provincial and federal aerospace associations in cooperation with  Industry Canada. The database was a logical follow-on to the 2002 Federal government paper on  Canada's Innovation Strategy, which led over the next few years to the 2005  Canadian Aerospace Partnership (CAP), which led almost immediately to the 2005  National Aerospace and Defence Framework which was eventually superseded by the  2012 Aerospace Review, although the database remains. For those who can't follow the process without a scorecard.

The  Canadian Association of Business Incubation (CABI) – Dedicated to the development of new enterprises and supporting the growth of new and emerging businesses, this organization has access to over 60+ Canadian business incubators and accelerators with a broad range of expertise.

The  Canadian Association of Defense and Security Industries (CADSI) – The “ voice” the Canadian defense and security industries and organizers of the annual  CANSEC defence trade shows.

Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) - An industry lobby group representing 500 solar energy groups throughout Canada formed in 1992 from the amalgamation of the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CSIA) and the Canadian Photovoltaic Industries Association (CPIA).

The  Canadian Space Commerce Association (CSCA) – A registered Canadian not-for-profit industry organization existing to advance the economic, legal and political environment for space and aerospace focused companies. Organizes intimate  bi-monthly meetings and larger  national events for the hobbyist and (sometimes) entrepreneur.

The  Canadian Start-up Financing Landscape – An annual assessment from start-up marketer Marc Evans, on where to go to get funding and support for your Canadian start-up. The list is divided up into angel investors, business incubators and accelerators, plus seed, series A and series B funding sources.

The  Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) – With over 2000 members with over $105 billion in capital under management, the CVCA represents the majority of private equity companies in Canada. Focused on venture capital (investment in early stage, mostly technology based companies), mezzanine financing (subordinated debt or preferred stock with an equity kicker) and buyout funding (risk investment in established private or publicly listed firms that are undergoing a fundamental change in operations or strategy).

CANEUS International - A unique non-profit organization of professionals involving public/private partnership, serving primarily the needs of aeronautics, space and defense communities by fostering the coordinated, international development of micro-nano technologies (MNT) for aerospace and defense applications.

The Centre for Commercialization of Research - A member of the International Commercialization Alliance (ICA) and one of the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) focused on commercializing research from public institutions.

The  Center for Space Entrepreneurship (eSpace) – Although not a Canadian example, this Boulder, CO based  501(c)(3) non-profit organization supports the creation and development of entrepreneurial space companies, the commercialization of the technologies they create, and the workforce to fuel their growth. Well worth using as a model for further Canadian development.

The  Commercial SpaceFlight Federation (CSF) – Another non-Canadian example worth emulating. The 40 businesses and organizations who are members of the CSF provide a comprehensive snapshot of the emerging international NewSpace industry. Canadian members include  MacDonald Dettwiler (MDA) and others.

The  Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC) – CARIC is a joint initiative of the  Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) and the  Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec (CRIAQ) to create " a national research and technology network that unites stakeholders from industry, universities, colleges and research institutions" across Canada. Uses the CRIAQ, funding and collaborative model.

The  Delta-V Space Accelerator - Australia's first space start-up, industry led accelerator is a partnership between  Saber Astronautics Pty LtdLaunchbox Pty Ltd, the  Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the  SpaceNet group at Sydney University. Focused on developing start-ups building  lightweight, 3-D-printed nanosats, low-cost, re-usable launch systems, smart sensors, machine learning, big data and/ or autonomous robot development.

Deltion Innovations – Billed as " Sudbury's first aerospace company" and focused on the design and fabrication of terrestrial and space mining systems, the organization also helps to organize the annual  Planetary and Terrestrial Mining Sciences Symposium. Originally part of the  Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT).

The various  European Space Agency (ESA)  Business Incubation Centres (ESI) and the  European Space Incubators Network (ESINET) – The ESA spends a lot of time and effort supporting small and innovative space focused firms. The work done through these two organizations is well worth investigating for lessons which are also applicable for Canada.

The  Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPEC) – A national association comprised of over 1,700 members from Canada and abroad. Members include patent agents, trade-mark agents and lawyers specializing in intellectual property. This is the first stop on the line if you're a rocket scientist looking to protect your trade, and any other of the secrets you might need, to run a business. 

The  Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) - Not especially space related (unless you're familiar with the partnerships developed in Great Britain between the IT and space advocacy communities, which led to the creation of the  UK Space Agency in 2010), but heavily involved in much the same issues of government procurement, innovation and commercialization. Even better, many of the entrepreneurial leaders in the current NewSpace community (Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, for example) started in IT. The panel chair of the 2012  Review of Federal Support to Research and Development (the " Jenkins panel," which directly effected  Industry Canada (IC) and  Canadian Space Agency (CSA) activities) was Tom Jenkins, then the executive chairman and chief strategy officer of Waterloo based  Open Text Corporation, a member in good standing of ITAC.

Kentucky Space – Another of those international examples which ambitious Canadians need to learn more about. This US based non-profit consortium comprising the  University of KentuckyMorehead State University, the  NASA Kentucky Space Grant Consortium and EPSCoR Programs plus  Belcan Corporation (a Cincinnati, OH based engineering headhunting firm) is focused on the research and development issues of small entrepreneurial and commercial space solutions. Managed by the  Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation.

The  MaRS Discovery District – A Toronto business incubator focused on the medical and IT industries but open to new ideas. Maintains the  MaRS Funding Sources Directory, a listing of provincial, national and international funding sources suitable for Ontario companies in both the public and private sectors.

Mitacs – A national, not-for-profit research organization focused on building " partnerships between academia, industry, and the world – to create a more innovative Canada." Offers a suite of research and training programs " which enable companies to connect with top Canadian and international researchers."

The MoneyTree Report on Venture Capital investment in the United States - A quarterly report compiled by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and the US based National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) which tracks venture capital activity in the United States by region, industry, funding stage, financing sequence, investing fund and receiving firm.

The  National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) – An organization of Canadian angel capital investors. NACO connects individuals, groups, and other partners that support angel-stage investing; provides intelligence, tools and resources for its members; facilitates key connections across networks, borders and industries and helps to inform policy affecting the " angel asset-class."

National Crowd Funding Association of Canada (NCFA) - An organization billing itself as " Canada’s crowd funding hub," the NCFA works closely with industry groups, government, academia, other business associations and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowd funding industry and voice across Canada. 

NewSpace Global (NSG) – Provides accurate and critical information on international NewSpace focused organizations and opportunities. NSG publishes a variety of items for subscribers, including the always up to date  NewSpace Watch online news service, the  Observer company database, which tracks the top international NewSpace companies and Thruster Magazine, the monthly market tracking report for NSG. Subscribers include Fortune 500s, universities, government agencies, small and large corporations, and space industry investors.

The  Ontario Aerospace Council - One of several regional, not for profit associations of aerospace firms across Canada tasked with enhancing industry competitiveness. Others include  Aero Montreal, the  Aerospace Industry Association of British Columbia (AIABC), the  Manitoba Aerospace Association and the  Unmanned Vehicle Systems Canada (UVS).

The  Space Angels Network – an American based network of angel investors that also accepts investors and clients from Canada and Europe. Sponsored by the Center for the Advancement for Science in Space (CASIS), Spaceflight Services (a one stop shop for manifests, certification and integration of small satellites into a network of established and emerging launch and space transportation vehicles), the Habif, Arogetti and Wynne accounting firm, SpaceNest (an Israeli based space incubator) and the Jones Day law firm. Strategic partners include the Space Foundation ( a Colorado-based nonprofit " advocate" for the global space industry), the Space Frontier Foundation, the UK based Catapult Satellite Applications Corporation, the Australian based Delta-V Space Accelerator and venture fund Gust. Of particular note is the discussion on Space Investing.

The  Space Frontier Foundation - US based advocacy group which believes that the barriers to space exploration are " primarily found in the bureaucratic status-quo of the government space program," and that change must come externally, through entrepreneurship. Organizers of the annual  NewSpace business plan competition

Space Works Commercial – A US based aerospace engineering and design incubator focused on next-generation space transportation systems, future technologies, human and robotic exploration of space, emerging space markets and their applications.

Start-Up Canada – Entrepreneur led, national movement to enhance the nation’s competitiveness and prosperity by supporting and celebrating Canadian entrepreneurship.

The  TechConnex Hub - Typical of efforts across Canada (although perhaps more successful), this association acts as an industry-directed hub for small and mid-size tech businesses throughout the greater Toronto area.

TheFunded.com – An online community of over 20,000 CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs who get together to discuss fundraising, rate and review angel investors and venture capitalists, and exchange ideas for strategies to grow start-up businesses. A part of the  Founder Institute.



Educational Facilities

While Canadian aerospace and space firms contribute useful amounts to research and development, this private sector money is normally tied to larger pots of government and academic funding.  
Below is a preliminary listing of some of the better recognized academic institutions and organizations for space and aerospace focused firms to collaborate with, learn from and maybe even hire a few of their graduates.
The  Association of Universities and Colleges (AUCC) - As the " voice of Canadian universities," at least according to their website, the AUCC is a useful first stop when building an inventory of Canadian educational facilities focused on science, engineering, space activities or anything else. According to the AUCC, " Canadian universities educate more than 1.5 million students annually. They perform more than one-third of Canada’s research and development. And, as a $30 billion enterprise, our universities generate economic wealth in communities across Canada." AUCC also publishes the annual " Directory of Canadian Universities,"  the 2014 edition of which lists " 97 universities and university degree level colleges in a consistent, indexed format."

The  Canadian Universities Website - A useful overview of academic expertise in this area covering universities and colleges from the self-proclaimed " Canada's higher education and career guide." Of particular note is the listing of  Space Science Scholarships in Canada although other academic sectors can also be accessed from the  search page.

The  Canada's Top 50 Research Colleges List - An annually updated listing of Canada's top research colleges tracked by amounts spent and areas of expertise. Designed to educate those who believe that the only true research is done in universities.

Canadore College - The Canadore College  School of Aviation Technology, located at  Jack Garland Airport, recently began construction of a new Advanced Composites Fabrication, Repair and Test Centre (ARC-TC) and continues to perform tests on a mock-up of the proposed SOAR suborbital space plane for European based Swiss Space Systems (S3) as part of Federal conservative MP Jay Aspin's plan to turn the sleepy community college into an international high tech business hub.

Carleton University - The  Carleton Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is the home of the  Carleton Mechanical and Aerospace Society (CMAS) and the CU3SAT micro-satellite project, which competed in the 2012 Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC). A second team from Carleton competed in the 2014 CSDC.

Centennial College - The Centennial College  Centre of Aerospace Training and Education (CATE) provides several post-secondary, apprenticeship, corporate and secondary school co-operative programs in aerospace manufacturing and support. The facility received $26Mln CDN from the Ontario government to relocate these programs to the former de Havilland aircraft manufacturing centre at Downsview Park, in June 2014. The new facility will be part of a larger aerospace training and research hub being developed for the commercialization of new technologies.

Concordia University - Home of the  Concordia Institute of Aerospace Design and Innovation (CIADI), which promotes " awareness and provide leading edge know-how among engineering students engaged in aerospace design and innovation." Also home to Space Concordia, a team of Concordia University engineering students which was an entrant in the 2012 and 2014  Canadian Satellite Design Challenge.

Laurentian University – In partnership with  Science North, Laurentian offers the comprehensive  Science Communication graduate program, which covers " the theory underlying good communication as well as the practical challenges of effectively communicating science and the issues involving science in society.

McGill University - Home of the  McGill Institute of Air and Space Law, focused on " training aviation and space focused lawyers to serve throughout the world." The faculty maintains close relationships with the American Bar Association (ABA)  Forum Committee on Air and Space Law, organizes conference on the topic and publishes the  Annals of Space Law Journal.

The  Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics- A basic research centre dedicated to " exploring the world around us at its most fundamental level." The institute supports over 80 resident researchers and a vigorous visitor program of cross-disciplinary research in condensed matter, cosmology & gravitation, particle physics, quantum foundations, quantum gravity, quantum information theory, superstring theory and other related areas.

Polytechnics Canada - The " voice of leading research-intensive, publicly funded colleges and institutes of technology." Strong advocate for moving at least some of the government money focused on R&D out of universities and into community colleges and trade schools.

Queens University - Home of the annual student run  Queen's Space Conference (QSC), aimed at connecting university student-delegates with leading professionals in the space industry.

Royal Military College (RMC) - The  Department of Space Science program at RMC offers both undergraduate and graduate programs with specialization focused around theoretical, experimental and observational aspects of space science: from space mission analysis, mission and payload design, remote sensing, satellite tracking, ionospheric physics and space weather, and astronomy and astrophysics.

Ryerson University - Possesses a well respected  Engineering Graduate Program, which focuses on aerodynamics and propulsion, aerospace structures, manufacturing, avionics and aerospace systems and has some overlap in technologies, with the space industry.

The  University of Alberta - Home to both the  Centre for Earth Observation Sciences (CEOS), which uses Earth observation and imaging technology to monitor environmental changes, manage resources and formulate sustainable development policies, and the  Institute for Space Science, Exploration and Technology (ISSET), a pioneering interdisciplinary centre for planetary and space research. The university also hosts the annual  Canada-Norway Student Sounding Rocket (CaNoRock) exchange program and is home to the  AlbertaSat team, which competed in the 2012 and 2014  Canadian Satellite Design Challenge.

The  University of British Columbia - Home of the  UBC Orbit team which competed in the 2012 and 2014  Canadian Satellite Design Challenge and of Dr.  Jaymie Matthews, who acts as chief scientist and principal investigator for the  Microvariability & Oscillations of STars (MOST) micro-satellite.

The  University of Calgary - Home of the  Institute for Space Research, which is part of the Department of Physics and focused on the areas of space plasma, aural imaging and analysis and modeling. Projects include the  Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP), a scientific payload for the  CAScade, Smallsat and IOnospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE), satellite, a scientific mission focused on telecommunications advances and solar weather research funded by the  Canadian Space Agency (CSA) as part of the  Technology Partnerships Canada program with  MacDonald Dettwiler (MDA). A team from the University of Calgary also competed in the 2014  Canadian Satellite Design Challenge.

The  University of Guelph - Home to the  Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility (CESRF). As part of Ontario Agricultural College, CESRF and its  Space and Advanced Life Support Agriculture program focus on plant research for space and other closed environment related activities. Has useful connections with the  Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the strong support of  NASA's Advanced Life Support (ALS) community.

The  University of Manitoba - Home of the University of Manitoba  Space Applications and Technology Society (UMSATS), which competed in the 2012 and 2014  Canadian Satellite Design Challenge. As outlined in the March 4th, 2015 UM Today article, " Partners in space, U of M and Magellan Aerospace to build satellites," the university is also home to a new  Advanced Satellite Integration Facility, a 6,000-square-foot area, large enough to accommodate up to three satellites at various stages of assembly, plus an ISO Class 8 clean room facility to satisfy the requirements of current and future Canadian government satellite programs. The satellites comprising the  RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) are expected to be built in this facility.

The  University of Saskatchewan - Home of the University of Saskatchewan  Space Design Team (USST), a student run organization which dominated the 2011 NASA sponsored  Space Elevator Games and competed in the 2012  Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC), plus the University of Saskatchewan  Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies (ISAS).  ISAS maintains strong links to the  Canadian Space Agency (CSA) through various contributions to the Canadian  Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System (OSIRIS) for the Swedish  ODIN satellite, the  Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) mission, the various  Canadian Geo-space Monitoring (CGSM) programs and the  Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC) plus international research connections through the  Climate And Weather of the Sun-Earth System (CAWSES) program, t he Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) and the   Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar (AMISR) program.

The  University of Toronto - Home to both the  University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS)  Space Flight Laboratory (SFL), the first Canadian academic institution able to build low cost spacecraft, micro-satellites and nano-satellites, and the  Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA). As the " big boy" of academic space activities in Canada, the UTIAS-SFL collaborates with business, government and academic institutions on the development of new space technologies and strengthening the Canadian skill base in space systems engineering. Recent UTIAS-SFL satellites have included the  Brite Constellation of micro-satellitesAISSAT-2 (a follow-on from the very successful AISSAT-1) and the  Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Microsatellite (M3MSat). The facility also has close relationships with the  Canadian Space Agency (CSA),  Bombardier, the NASA  Ames Research CenterMacDonald Dettwiler (MDA) and multiple foreign governments.

The  University of Waterloo - Home of Canada's largest engineering faculty (divided up into several different schools and research centres, most notably  Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering), the university faculty has contributed to a variety of space focused projects. These include the  Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI) instrument on the  Herschel Space Observatory, the  VASCULAR and  BP-Reg medical experiments conducted in 2012-13 aboard the  International Space Station (ISS) by Commander Chris Hadfield (who joined the Waterloo faculty in 2014) and a proposed micro-satellite mission (the  Quantum EncrYption and Science Satellite or QEYSSat) that would demonstrate long-distance quantum key distribution from space. The university also hosts the  Waterloo Space Society (WSS), which organizes and promotes space-related events at Waterloo and within the larger community. WSS has two active engineering sub-teams:  WatSat which participated in the 2012  Canadian Satellite Design Challenge and the  Waterloo Rocketry Team.

The  University of Western Ontario (UWO) – Home to the  Canadian Lunar Research Network (now a part of the new  Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute), the  Centre for Planetary Science & Exploration (CPSX) and the co-host of the  Canadian Astrobiology Network. UWO contains Canada's only graduate program in planetary science, with over 40 PhD and MSc students and a new  undergraduate minor degree in planetary science and space exploration. The university can also boast of its role in development of the  Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSAT), the  Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the proposed 2016  ExoMars Orbiter and EDM mission, plus the proposed  ExoMars 2018 mission and has a close relationships with the  Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the  NASA Ames Research CenterMacDonald Dettwiler (MDA) and multiple foreign governments.

York University - Home of the  Lassonde School of Engineering, which includes the department of  Earth and Space Science and Engineering and the  Earth and Space Science graduate program.York scientists, engineers and students have contributed the  Phoenix Scout MissionSCISAT (the Canadian Space Agency mission to research the ozone layer) the Canadian  Wind Imaging Interferometer (WINDII) on NASA’s  Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) and the Canadian  Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System (OSIRIS) for the Swedish  ODIN satellite. York is also home of the  York University Rover Team.



Government Departments

Commercial space activities are often a collaboration between academics, business and government organizations. 
With that in mind, here's a preliminary list of government agencies you need to know if you plan on building a Canadian based space company.
The  Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) - Established in 1946, the CCC is a federal Crown corporation mandated to promote and facilitate international trade on behalf of Canadian industry (particularly within government markets).
This is quite useful since Canadian space firms, typically sell half or more of its products on the international market.
The CCC's two business lines are structured to support Canadian companies contracting into the defense sector (primarily in the United States) and into emerging and developing international markets.
The  Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) -  Set up by the Federal government in 1997 to build Canada’s capacity to undertake world-class research and technology development.
CFI funds a variety of state-of-the-art equipment, laboratories, databases, specimens, scientific collections, computer facilities and organizations which support innovative research.
The  Canadian Government Concierge Service - Tired of all the research which goes into accessing the appropriate government program?
The mandate of this government organization is to help users find and access programs and services in all those other government departments, which are evidently considered to be less effective at answering the phone and replying to the e-mails of those looking to learn more. 
The  Canadian Space Agency (CSA) – The federal government agency responsible for Canada’s civilian space program.
The CSA was established in March 1989 under the  Canadian Space Agency Act and works with the  Department of National Defense (DND) on military space focused activities and the  Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) on activities related to international cooperation and technology transfer.
As per the 2012  Federal Review of Aerospace and Space Programs and Policies (or " Emerson Report"), the CSA acts " as a technical supervisor" to support specific committees, to the  Minister of Public Works in order to help negotiate " co-operative agreements with other countries' space agencies," co-manages space technology development (along with the  National Research Council), conducts its own research, operates its existing satellite inventory and maintains the Canadian astronaut program. 
CSA programs are often funded only partially through the CSA, but instead depend on funds from other areas, such as other  Industry Canada departments, academic institutions and the private sector. 
The current chief executive officer of the CSA is president  Sylvain Laporte, who reports directly to the  Minister of Industry. For a current listing of the CSA plans and priorities over the next five years, check out the document, " Canada's Future in Space," on the CSA website.
The  Department of National Defence (DND) - Home of the  Canadian Armed Forces and a variety of other sub-groups and departments, such as  Defence Research and Development Canada which are either tasked with responsibility for the various components of our national defence or else with developing and/or procuring the appropriate tools to assist with this mission.
Of course, one might reasonably assume a DND requirement to develop the command, control, communications and situational awareness capabilities provided by the appropriate space based satellite systems, as outlined in documents like the April 21, 2015 Strategic Studies post, " Evolving Army Needs for Space-Based Support." 
And sometimes that's even the way it works. But not always and not often in Canada. 
Essentially, the DND has a 45 year bipartisan history of being consistently starved for funding from the Federal government, which has forced it to borrow a variety of tactical assets for specific missions from other (mostly American) partners, much to the detriment of Canadian based programs and our international reputation. 
For example, the first annual  Defence Acquisition Guide, released to moderate applause on June 16th, 2014, was an almost totally unfunded, $100Bln CDN wish list of DND pet projects (included several military-related space projects totaling some $5.9Bln CDN) which will likely soon join the $490Bln CDN  Canada First Defence Strategy, another unfunded 2008 military program which eventually crashed against the shore of harsh government austerity.
For an overview of the current DND procurement requirements, plus an assessment of the increasing importance of government  off-set credits, job creation expectations and economic development requirements in overall Federal government procurement policy, its worth taking a look at the May 28th, 2015 IHS Janes 360 article, " Canadian defence industry overview [CAN2015D2]."
Export Development Canada (EDC) - Canada's export credit agency, this crown corporation works with the CCC and other government agencies to offer up " innovative financing packages" to those looking to expand their international business.
In 2013, EDC claimed over $5Bln CDN in support to the Canadian aerospace sector, mostly in the form of financing and alternative financing solutions, accounts receivable insurance and bonds to ensure supplier obligations. 
The agency also maintains and manages the ExportWise website, which contains timely articles on export opportunities, analyses of key markets and emerging opportunities, how-to guides and profiles of successful exporters.
Industry Canada (IC) – The Canadian government department charged with fostering a growing, competitive, knowledge-based Canadian economy.
The head of the CSA reports directly to the head of IC and both agencies are governed by a variety of existing IC policies on science and technology such as the  Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage Report (May 2007) and the  Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage Progress Report (June 2009).
These policies enjoy wide support across among all Canadian political parties and were most recently reviewed by the 2012  Federal Review of Aerospace and Space Programs and Policies (or " Emerson Report," presented to then Industry Minister Christian Paradis in November 2012)  and the  Review of Federal Support to Research and Development (or " Jenkins panel," which was presented to then Minister of State Gary Goodyear in October 2011). 
IC also manages the  National Research Council (NRC) and various other organizations relating to science and technology.
The  National Research Council (NRC) – The primary Canadian government resource for science and technology (S&T) funding.
The NRC works with the  National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the  Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the  Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) and the  Networks of Centres of Excellence
The NRC reports to  Industry Canada (IC), which tends to focus Canadian spending in this area around questions of commercialization, rather than basic research.
The  Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) - A collaborative network of organizations across Ontario designed to help entrepreneurs, businesses and researchers commercialize their ideas.
One of the better provincial government offerings in this area although other provincial governments offer many of the same services with greater or lesser degrees of success. 
Collaborative organizations include the  Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the  Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR),  OMERS Ventures, the  Ontario Aerospace Council (OAC), the  Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), the  Network of Angel Organizations - Ontario (which administrators the  Ontario Angel Network Program) and quite a few others.
Many Canadian space companies (and even a few academic institutions) receive funding through the OCE or through organizations affiliated with it.
The  United States Office of Space Commercialization – Only in Canada would it be possible to suggest that one of the best places to find information on government space policies and initiatives would be a foreign government website.
But in an age focused on the US  International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and its Canadian equivalent, the  Controlled Goods Program (CGP), this site provides great background material from the US  Department of Commerce relating to commercial space activities, general policy information affecting all areas of commercial space activities and documents related to the US  National Space Policy.
Highly recommended for space geeks and business entrepreneurs looking to sell into, but not necessarily live in, the highly lucrative US market.


Advocates, Activists and Groups

There are a lot of space advocates in Canada. 
Some of them are wrapped around academic institutions. Others are wrapped around ideas such as "open source" or "working in space" and a few are even wrapped around activities like launching rockets or space tourism. 
Below is a representative sampling of some of the more interesting.
The  Astronomy and Space Exploration Society (ASX) - A non-profit organization run out of the University of Toronto with a mandate to educate, excite, and inspire students, professionals, and the general public about astronomy and space. Best known for its annual January astronomy symposiums.

The AstroNut's Kids Space Club - A space focused educational group for elementary school students created in May 2010 by the father/ son team of Ray and Brett Bielecki. The various " missions" of spaceship " Mercury One" and its successor " Mercury Two" have been profiled on CBC, CTV, CITY-TV, A-Channel, the Daily Planet (for the Discovery Channel) and Rogers TV.

The  Calgary Space Workers Society - Local advocacy group focused on how " to live and work in space." The group hosted the 2007 " Canadian Space Summit."

The  Canadian Association of Rocketry listing of  affiliated organizations - Who says that Canadian's don't build rockets? Certainly not these self-supporting, non-profit organizations whose sole purpose is to promote development of amateur rocketry as a recognized sport and worthwhile activity.

The  Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) - A nonprofit technical organization for aeronautics, space and remote sensing. Host for a variety of annual events including recently the concluded 65th  International Astronautics Congress (IAC), which was held in Toronto from September 29th - October 3rd, 2014.

The Canadian Association of Science Centres - An organization promoting and encouraging public involvement with Canadian public science centres and the organizations needed to support them.

The  Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) – Academic focused organization founded in 1971 and incorporated in 1983 as a society of astronomers devoted " to the promotion and advancement of knowledge of the universe through research and education." The CASCA  Joint Committee on Space Astronomy advises CASCA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) on matters pertaining to the space astronomy segment of the CSA  space science program, including priorities, areas of research, selection mechanisms, funding areas and the extent of funding.

The  Canadian Foundation for the International Space University (CFISU) – The charitable organization promoting the  International Space University (ISU) in Canada.

The Canadian Remote Sensing Society (CRSS-SCT) - Focused on the Canadian activities relating to geomatics (the discipline of gathering, storing, processing, and delivering geographic information, or spatially referenced information), this scientific association organizes conferences and helps publish the  Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing (CJRS).

The  Canadian Satellite Design Challenge - A privately funded, biannual event focused on teams of Canadian university students (undergraduate and graduate) who design and build an operational small-satellite, based on commercially-available, " off-the-shelf" components. 

The  Canadian Science Policy Centre - Passionate professionals from industry, academia, and science-based governmental departments who organize the yearly  Canadian Science Policy Conference.

The  Canadian Space Society (CSS) – A non-profit corporation promoting Canadian space activities. Organizes the annual  Canadian Space Summit and just rolled out its Canadian space asset map, a listing of organizations involved in the Canadian space industry.

The  Centre for Spatial Law and Policy - Not Canadian, but this Virginia based think tank does focus on the legal and policy issues associated with geo-spatial data and technology, which is of some use to the Canadians who are ranked as leaders within this growing field.

Engineers Canada - The national organization of the  12 provincial and territorial associations that regulate the profession of engineering in Canada and license the country's more than 260,000 members of the engineering profession. The organization also issues national position statements on key issues relating to the public interest, including infrastructure, labour mobility and regulating the profession.

Friends of NASA - An independent non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to building international support for peaceful space exploration, commerce, scientific discovery and STEM education organized by Montreal, PQ based Dwayne Lawrence in 2008. The organization claims over 10,000 professional members worldwide from over 50 countries plus 180,000+ public followers on social media: Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

The  Geological Association of Canada - A national geo-science society, publisher and distributor of geo-science books and journals. Also holds a variety of conferences, meetings and exhibitions for the discussion of geological problems and the exchange of views in matters related to geology. Geologists often use Earth imaging and geo-spatial satellite technology derived from our space program to inventory natural resources.

Hacklab.TO - One of a number of small Canadian organizations like the Interaccess Electronic Media Arts Centre, the Kwartzlab Makerspace, the Makerkids non-profit workshop space for kids, Think|Haus, the Site 3 coLaboratory, UnLab and others who focus on the technologies associated with open source additive manufacturing/ 3-D printing. These techniques show great promise for a variety of low cost space manufacturing technologies.

The Mars Society Canada - Semi-active Canadian subsidiary of the US based Mars Society advocacy group. Although the Canadian organizations has a past history of strong activism and support for research projects like the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station on Devon Island, the current website serves mostly as a conduit for general interest science news about the red planet. The one remaining active Canadian chapter of the society is in Winnipeg, MB.

The North York Astronomy Association (NYAA) - This Ontario based club is the organizer of the annual StarFest star party, recognized as one of the world's top 10 gatherings of amateur astronomers for the purpose of observing the sky.

The OpenLuna Foundation - A privately funded public outreach program (officially a US based 501(c) 3) to encourage the use of open-source tools and methodologies ( open design) for space focused activities. The founding member and project manager/ director of the organization is Paul Graham, who lives in London, Ontario.

The Planetary Society Canada - A subgroup of the larger US based Planetary Society. a non-government, nonprofit organization involved in research and engineering projects related to astronomy, planetary science, exploration, public outreach, and political advocacy founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman. The current CEO is Bill Nye.

The  Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) - 4,800 members, including about 500 " unattached" members from remote parts of Canada and around the world and strong chapters in Vancouver and 28 other centres across the country makes RASC one of Canada's largest space and astronomy advocacy groups. Since 2009, the organization has owned the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill, Ontario. In July 2015, the organization purchased SkyNews; the Canadian Magazine of Astronomy and Stargazing.

Science Rendezvous - Grassroots not-for-profit organization and public platform to promote science awareness and increase science literacy in Canada. Holds the yearly, spring Science Rendezvous at the University of Toronto, St. George campus.

Space Canada – A not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of solar energy from space. Organized the 2009  Symposium on Solar Energy from Space. Space Canada president and CEO  George Dietrich has a long history of supporting US and Canadian NewSpace activities.  

The Space Society of London (SSoL) - Aims to unite members of the University of Western Ontario and greater London communi ties who have a common interest in space. SSoL is also the local chapter HQ for Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS).

The  Space Tourism Society Canadian Chapter - A Canadian chapter of the US based Space Tourism Society (STS) which intends to promote space tourism and the acquisition of  " financial, political and public support to make space tourism available to the general population in the near future."

Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) Canadian chapter - Part of an international group of student-run organizations dedicated to promoting public interest in space. Countries with active SEDS groups include the US, the UK and India.

The  Toronto International Space Apps Challenge - An annual " hackathon" organized each spring as part of the  NASA International Space Apps Challenge.

The Toronto Students for the Advancement of Aerospace (TSAA) - A new group focused on building an annual conference series focused around the " do-it-yourself engineer" in order to " educate, motivate and enrich the experience of students in aerospace and related fields."