Request for Expression of Interest for the Canadian Space-Data Partnering Mission to the UK – 2-6 March, 2020

Global Affairs Canada, through the High Commission of Canada in London, and the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), invite you to apply to participate in a “Space-Data Partnering Mission to the UK”, which will take place from 2-6 March, 2020 in London, Oxfordshire and Scotland.

This mission is being organised with support from the Canadian Space Agency and ISED.  Please note that interested companies must applyno later than December 20, 2019.


Canada and the UK both have highly innovative space sectors that generate products and services that benefit mankind every day. However, the space sector is changing fast and whilst the traditional view focused on the space industry (companies that manufacture, launch and operate space assets such as satellites), a more modern view – the space economy - includes companies that use the signals and data supplied by these space assets to develop value-added applications.

The increasing amounts and availability of geospatial data, coupled with a better understanding of how it can be used, present huge opportunities to drive economic growth through more informed decision making. Canada and the UK have dynamic ecosystems for satellite applications together with extensive capabilities in data analytics, GIS software, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Visualisation. Both countries view the space sector as a vital growth area for our economies and this strategic alignment, coupled with a genuine interest from the communities in working together, make this an ideal time to undertake a partnering mission. 

Mission Objective

This mission aims to establish a collaborative R&D network of Canadian and British players active in the global geo-information market.  Through seminars & workshops, matchmaking, site-visits and networking, Canadian participants will identify opportunities that address their strategic position and competitive advantages in creating, transporting, integrating and applying satellite-derived information, products and services for operational applications.

Canada-UK co-innovation opportunities could include:

Canadian Delegate Profile

Companies working in global value chains providing value-added geo-information for decision support would benefit from this initiative. Canadian participants should meet the following requirements in order to apply:

It will be relevant for the following types of company:

And will explore geoinformation products and services for a number of market sectors, such as:

Mission Description

The mission will take place over a 4 ½ day period and will visit the UK’s leading space clusters in London, Harwell and Glasgow.  It will include a series of strategic seminars/workshops, site visits to companies and research institutes, tailored B2B partnering opportunities and general networking events. There will be opportunities for companies to pitch projects for industrial R&D collaboration to potential UK partners.  We will work with key UK stakeholders to deliver this mission including: the UK Space Agency, the Geospatial Commission, UK Space, Innovate-UK, and the Satellite Applications Catapult Centre.

Why the UK?

Space is a rapidly growing sector of the UK economy. It’s value grew from £6.5 billion in 2007 to £13.7 billion in 2015 and the UK currently owns a 6.5% share of the global space economy (with an ambitious target of cornering 10 % by 2030).  According to the most recent global Geospatial Readiness Index (GRI), the UK’s geospatial technology sector is recognised as the second most developed in the world due to the well-developed capability in data infrastructure, policy framework (geospatial and enabling), institutional capacity (education), and industry landscape (adoption, innovation, incubation and accelerators).

A series of Government policies and investments since 2010 have helped fuel this growth, including the creation of a UK Space Agency, a National Space Policy, and a space cluster being established at Harwell with the Satellite Applications Catapult, the European Space Agency’s ECSAT Centre and the National Space Integration and Test Facility, at its heart. Today, the Government continues to recognise the sector’s importance and has recently created a Geospatial Commission and a new National Space Council to co-ordinate all aspects of Britain’s space strategy and to deliver on a Space Framework. This includes UK investment in spaceports for the first time, with the launch capabilities for a range of small satellites from as early as the 2020s. It also calls fora national innovation fund to add to its European Space Agency activities.

Within a global market for geospatial information estimated by GeoBuiz at over $300 billion and growing at 14% p.a., the UK is identified as having “rich data infrastructure and a conducive policy framework for adoption”, which is an ideal complement to Canada, which “makes high-quality and authoritative spatial data to support innovation”.  Together, the UK and Canada have many of the key ingredients for globally competitive geo-information services as well as the industries to deliver the systems necessary to capture, curate and convert data into information, information into decisions, and decisions into advantage.

Financial support for Travel Costs

The Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP) may provide financial support to eligible participants for 50% of all eligible expenses such as:

How to Apply for Participation

  1. Interested companies should request an application form from Caroline Martin (, Trade Commissioner at the High Commission of Canada in London. This will request information about your company, your technology and your interest in discussing possible R&D opportunities with UK partners;
  2. Completed application forms are due no later than 20 Dec 2019 to Caroline Martin (;
  3. The High Commission of Canada in London and NRC IRAP will select companies to participate in the mission. Selected applicants can expect to be notified no later than 10 Jan 2020;
  4. Companies formally selected to participate in the mission will then be invited to apply for travel funding support.
  5. Companies who have applied for travel support can expect to be notified of the decision on travel funding support no later than February 7, 2020.

Please note: Participation is limited. Applications submitted will be assessed to determine the eligibility of the applicant to participate in this R&D mission. It will be based on the quality of the information provided in regards to the technology and the appropriateness of the technology for the UK market.

Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP)

Global Affairs Canada in collaboration with the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) delivers the Canadian International Innovation program (CIIP) in the UK. CIIP supports industrial R&D partnership development activities between Canadian SMEs and companies in key markets, including the UK.


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