Key CSA Partnerships Bring Space Technologies to Earth

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Friday, February 16, 2001

St. John's, Newfoundland, February 16, 2001) The Honourable Brian Tobin, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency, today announced the awarding of a $1.3 million contract to C-CORE, an engineering research and development corporation affiliated with Memorial University of Newfoundland.

"C-CORE is providing opportunities for graduate research to students of Memorial University. This helps make Canadian companies become more innovative and competitive in the global marketplace by adapting leading-edge space technologies and driving Canadian innovation in the development of smart robotics and sensors," said Minister Tobin to an audience of industry and academic leaders as well as space agency partners on the campus of Memorial University.

C-CORE uses technologies from the Canadian and European space programs to develop robots that operate in deep mines, locate pipeline movement in remote areas and supports new ventures in the forestry sector, among other projects. The $1.3 million contract awarded to C-CORE, under a program sponsored by the European Space Agency, will enable the consortium to carry out Phase 3 of their Harsh Environments Initiative (HEI) first launched by C-CORE in 1997. This initiative links a network of companies and institutions in Canada and Europe that are adapting leading-edge space technologies for use in harsh environments like underground and underwater operations.

"C-CORE has been successful in obtaining international support for the Harsh Environments Initiative. This is helping us achieve the goal of transferring the products of space research and development to industrial and commercial exploitation in Earth's Harsh Environments.", said Judith Whittick, President and CEO of C-CORE.

This third contract awarded by the European Space Agency to C-CORE under their Harsh Environments Initiative clearly demonstrates the very tangible benefits of international cooperation flowing from the membership of Canada in the European Space Agency and the impact of the Canadian Space Program on the economy. Canada and the European Space Agency

Supporting the Canadian Government strategy to strengthen cooperation with Europe in critical areas of science and technology, the Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency, in June 2000, renewed a Cooperation Agreement for a term of ten years. Through this Cooperation Agreement with ESA, in exchange for an average annual contribution of around $25 million by the Canadian Space Agency ($5 million general contribution and $20 million earmarked for specific programs), Canadian industry may bid for, and receive, contracts to work in programs of interest.

Canada participates in ESA deliberative bodies, decision making and actively takes part in programs and activities. The Cooperation Agreement contains specific guarantees to ensure a fair industrial return to Canadian industry in ESA activities and programs in which Canada participates. Canada has been cooperating with the European Space Agency since 1978.

About C-CORE and the Harsh Environments Initiative (HEI)

Embracing a wide spectrum of engineering and business skills, C-CORE works closely with industrial partners to develop technologies and solutions for complex engineering challenges facing resource-based industries.

The HEI offers numerous benefits to companies seeking to improve their competitive position within their industry. Access to advanced technology and opportunities to develop innovative products and expertise through collaborative partnerships provide organizations with the resources needed for growth. An extensive North American and European Network provides opportunities for companies to expand into new markets and to form partnerships and to collaborate with like-minded companies.

The HEI also provides opportunities for space-capable small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to expand into non-space markets. Benefits are distributed among space-capable SMEs and sponsors of space technology development. Space-capable SMEs will develop new expertise, create niche markets for their products or services and establish collaborative ventures with foreign partners to address a global market. For more information please visit:

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 and situated in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program. Through its Space Knowledge, Applications and Industry Development business line, the CSA delivers services involving: Earth and the Environment; Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite Communications; Generic Space Technologies; Space Qualification Services and Awareness. The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity. For more information:

About ESA

The European Space Agency is an international organization established in 1975 to provide for and promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European states in space research and technology and their space applications. ESA has 15 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Canada takes part in some projects under a cooperation agreement. Information on ESA may be found at:

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Anna Kapiniari
Manager, Public Relations and Media
Canadian Space Agency
Tel: (450) 926-4350

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