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Notice – Lunar Exploration Acceleration Program technology development (AO)

Publication date:

Table of contents

  1. Purpose
  2. Eligible projects and description of the AOs
  3. Important comments
  4. Email address and response deadline

1. Purpose

In , the Canadian Government announced the Lunar Exploration Acceleration Program (LEAP) as part of a new National Space Strategy to "position Canada's industrial space sector to help grow the economy and create the jobs of the future". The Federal Budget confirmed that Canadian Space Agency (CSA) can access up to $150M over five years starting in - for LEAP to "help small and medium-sized enterprises develop new technologies to be used and tested in lunar orbit and on the Moon's surface".

The strategy enables Canada and its space sector to grow the economy and create the jobs of the future by advancing science, developing and demonstrating space technologies and support the positioning of Canadian industries for upcoming commercial and science mission opportunities linked to our participation in Lunar exploration while generating benefits for Canadians in space and on Earth.

In light of the above, the CSA is informing the Canadian space industry of its intention to proceed with the posting an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) as part of its LEAP - Grants and Contributions Program component.

In the context of positioning Canada in the lunar economy, the purpose of the AO is to provide financial support to businesses in the Canadian space industry that develop technological innovations with a strong potential of integrating the lunar missions supply chains. The potential AO to be published is described briefly in section 2. The objectives of this notice are the following:

Comments and suggestions will not be used for a formal assessment; however, they could potentially be used in the final preparations of the AO. No additional exchange on the subjects raised should be expected.

The CSA encourages any interested organization to submit comments or suggestions in response to this notice no later than ; however, participation in this notice is neither a condition nor a prerequisite for participation or being selected for funding in any subsequent AO. This notice will not be used to establish a list of potential applicants for any upcoming AO.

2. Eligible projects and description of the AOs

The CSA's LEAP technology development AO aims to support the basic research and development of technologies that demonstrate strong potential of entering the lunar missions supply chain.

To be eligible for funding, applicants will be required to identify the lunar mission supply chain related opportunities in which the technology has potential of being integrated. The applicants will also have to demonstrate the potential interest in the technology from the actors in the lunar mission community.

Only technologies targeted at integrating the lunar mission supply chains are eligible. Eligible projects do not include the development of space related medical technologies as they will be supported through other funding opportunities.

The definition of R&D used by the STDP, and for this notice, is as follows:

"Any pre-commercial technology activities that are carried out to resolve unknowns regarding the feasibility of space concepts in the space sector."

Eligible recipients are limited to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada, excluding academic institutions.

The LEAP Technology Development AO will issue non-repayable contributions of up to $2 million per project. Projects should have a targeted duration of 18 months.

The AO will use a 2 step application process consisting of a Letter of Intent (using a predefined format to be provided) followed by a Complete Application. Only applicants whose Letters of Intent will have succeeded the screening process will be invited to submit a complete application.

The AO will have provisions to allow the recipients, upon completion of the initial project, to request additional funding of up to $2 million for a total maximum of $4 million and schedule to end no later than . The extension is to allow the recipients to continue the basic R&D up to TRL 6 of technologies demonstrating strong potential of integrating the lunar mission supply chain.

To be awarded an extension, the proponent will need to make a request to the CSA. The request will be screened against the listed eligibility criteria, and also taking into consideration the amount of funds to be requested versus remaining. If invited, the proponent will provide a supplemental proposal detailing the additional scope of work to be performed, typically additional TRL progression (up to TRL-6). The proposal will need to succeed a full evaluation process to be considered for additional funding.

The AO will have an estimated total amount, including potential extensions, of $14 million.

The AO will be open until or until complete subscription of the total amount of the AO. Letters of Intent and Complete Applications will be reviewed and evaluated in the order of reception.

Approved proposals from for-profit organizations will be qualified for a total government (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal) assistance of up to a maximum of 75% of total eligible project costs.

Approved proposals from not-for-profit organizations will be qualified for a total CSA assistance of up to a maximum of 75% of total eligible project costs and for a total government (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal) assistance of up to a maximum of 100% of total eligible project costs.

All development phases necessary for a project are eligible. Any logical breakdown or combination of these phases can constitute a funded project. However, breaking down a project into numerous phases to obtain more than the maximum contribution of the AO is not allowed. Furthermore, if a proposal is for pursuing a standalone R&D found in another awarded contribution (past or on-going), the proposed follow-up R&D, even if funded in a new contribution agreement, is considered another phase of R&D of the same G&C project for which the program has a cumulative limit of $5M. If the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining phases.

3. Important comments

This notice is not an AO and should not be considered as a commitment on the part of the Government of Canada to publish one. No agreement based on this notice will be concluded. This notice does not in any way authorize prospective interested organizations to undertake work, the cost of which could be claimed from Canada.

In the information provided to Canada, organizations submitting comments or suggestions are encouraged to indicate the presence of any information which they consider as exclusive, personal or belonging to a third party. Please note that Canada may be required by law (e.g., in response to a request under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act) to disclose information that is proprietary or sensitive at the commercial level.

Organizations submitting comments or suggestions are required to indicate whether their response, or any part thereof, is subject to the Controlled Goods Regulations.

Organizations submitting comments or suggestions will receive no reimbursement for the costs incurred in replying to this notice.

It should be noted that the description of the AO in section 2 is subject to change between now and the official publication of the AO, if necessary.

The CSA encourages the space industry to collaborate with the academic sector in the implementation of the AO by promoting projects that will include student and academic participation.

To this effect, potential applicants may be interested in contacting Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization which helps companies access the talent, technologies, and strategic partnerships they need to innovate and grow, to investigate if and how academic researchers and highly skilled graduate or postdoctoral talent can be leveraged on research projects in collaboration with universities. This information is provided to help potential applicants start identifying potential partnerships and financial leverage prior to the official posting.

For guidance, publication of the AO is targeted for the / timeframe on the CSA website. Several factors may influence this date, or even lead to the cancellation of such a publication.

This notice is subject to change. If necessary, these changes will be published on the CSA website.

4. Email address and response deadline

Interested organizations can email their comments or suggestions to the following address, no later than :

Email: asc.paelexploration-explorationleap.csa@canada.ca

The deadline was set to ensure that the comments and suggestions received can be processed. Comments will be accepted until the AO is published (where relevant); however, due to the posting date planned for this AO, it is possible that late comments may not be duly considered.

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