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Space touches all aspects of our lives and has the potential to shape our future as a nation of innovators, while addressing some of our most pressing challenges.
To spur innovation in space technologies and to prepare for next steps in deep-space exploration, Karen McCrimmon, Member of Parliament for Kanata–Carleton, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced that the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has awarded three contracts worth almost $1.8 million to Neptec Design Group Ltd. of Kanata, Ont.
This investment is expected to maintain 33 well-paying, middle-class jobs in Kanata.
Through these contracts, Neptec will develop a miniature three-dimensional camera that could enable rovers to navigate autonomously on the moon and Mars, or on Earth. This technology would allow rovers to collect more scientific data, thereby maximizing the scientific returns of their missions.
Neptec will also partner with Thales Alenia Space Switzerland, the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), and McMaster University to develop an optical communications system. This innovative system will use light to securely transfer information between Earth and satellites.
Lastly, Neptec will develop a new automated cell culture system to help us study the impacts of microgravity on the human body.
This initiative is part of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class.
“The investments we make in today’s space sector are investments in a higher standard of living for all Canadians. By investing in the Canadian space sector, we are strengthening its capacity to innovate and develop new technologies that will lead to new business opportunities at home and abroad. The technologies designed for today’s space sector show the power of innovation to drive job creation and skill development while improving our quality of life,” said Bains.
“It is investments like these that show how this government is investing in the growth of communities like Kanata, and preparing Canadians for the jobs of the future. We are investing in advanced technologies that will make a real difference in our daily lives. This is truly a win-win situation for these communities, and Canada as a whole,” said McCrimmon.
- This funding is awarded through the CSA’s Space Technology Development Program, which supports innovation to enhance the capabilities and competitiveness of Canada’s space sector;
- The Canadian space sector is highly innovative; in 2015, it generated $5.3 billion in revenues and invested $256 million in research and development to enhance the sector’s key capabilities and develop cutting-edge technologies.