The Marine Sector Transformed by Space Technologies

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 1999

Initiative to Facilitate Development of Commercial Marine Satellite Technology Applications Launched

Ottawa, November 16, 1999 – Canada's marine sector has received a boost from a $2.5 million investment announced today by Mr. Mac Evans, President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), on behalf of Industry Canada Minister John Manley, for the development of commercial satellite technology applications for the marine environment.

Eligible applications under this initiative include but are not limited to: image communications/conferencing at sea; interactive training for ship’s crews; navigation applications; scientific and survey data transmission; as well as tele-medicine and tele-maintenance when offshore.

"This initiative helps Canadian industry capitalize on the market opportunities surrounding the increasing adoption of satellite technology in the marine sector", said Industry Canada Minister John Manley. "Expected benefits will result in the form of increased economic activity, exports and job creation. It will also assist in maintaining Canada’s role as a leader in satellite technology", he concluded.

Mr. Evans made the announcement at the Communications Research Centre (CRC) in Ottawa. "The Marine Information Skyway will be administered by CRC on behalf of CSA and implemented by the Canadian Centre for Marine Communications (CCMC) through its national network of companies. The CSA investment spans a five-year period", declared Mr. Evans.

"Commercialization of these applications will result in a utilization of the available bandwidth as companies recognize the implications of reliable communications on their profitability and productivity", said Mr. Gerry Turcotte, President of CRC.

"Newfoundland and Labrador is a world leader in marine industrial capability, and I am extremely pleased that this initiative will be facilitated through the Canadian Centre for Marine Communications office in our province", said Newfoundland and Labrador Industry, Trade and Technology Minister Sandra Kelly. "The Marine Information Skyway initiative will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the commercial development of marine satellite communications applications in this province, and across the country."

"It is anticipated that over the next 10 years, satellite communications will comprise an increasing portion of marine sector communications. Only satellite communications offers the high reliability, high data rates and global coverage demanded by the world’s fleets", declared Mr. Ronald V. Newhook, President & CEO of CCMC. "Together, we will enhance the competitive position of the Canadian marine information technology industry and, by supporting true commercial developments within a global marketplace, contribute to the economic growth of the country."

In the coming weeks, this initiative will be actively promoted across Canada. Concept papers accepted from industry will be reviewed by CRC and CCMC, and CCMC will then work with industry to develop proposals with an anticipated project commencement date of April 2000.

CSA is committed to leading the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity. It manages and co-ordinates all of Canada's space activities and promotes the Canadian space industry among international partners.

CRC, as an institute of Industry Canada, is dedicated to research and development (R&D) in a multidisciplinary field of communications and related technologies. Founded on primary capabilities in radio propagation and radio communications, CRC’s R&D has been driven over the years by the need to provide communications and broadcast services to all Canadians, wherever they live and work.

CCMC collaborates with the Canadian marine information technology (IT) industry in the development of products and services that capitalize on the latest advancements in marine communications, navigation and information technology. It facilitates strategic partnerships between industry, research centres, academia and government in support of the growth of the Canadian marine IT sector.

Pour plus d’information :

Contact: J. David Mitchell
Corporate Communications Officer
Canadian Centre for Marine Communications
Telephone: (709) 758-8351
Electronic Mail:

Contact: David Halayko
Project Manager
International Mobile Satcom Program
Satellite Communications
Communications Research Centre
Telephone: (613) 998-0007
Electronic Mail:

Contact: Stéphane Corbin
Manager, Public Relations and Media
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: (450) 926-4350 Electronic Mail:

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