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Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) Technology development (AO)

Industrial capacity-building contribution

Announcement of Opportunity

Publication date:

Application start:

Application deadline:

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. AO objectives
  3. Eligibility criteria
  4. Two (2) step application process
  5. Evaluation of the application
  6. Funding
  7. Extensions - Two (2) step application process
  8. Funding agreements
  9. Privacy notice statement
  10. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Summary of key information

  • Eligible recipients: Eligible recipients are limited to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada, excluding academic institutions
  • Non-repayable contributions
  • Maximum amount per project: $2M with possibility to extend to $4M
  • Targeted maximum project duration: 18 months with possibility to extend to Footnote 1
  • Estimated total amount of the Announcement of Opportunity (AO) including potential amendments : $13M
  • Extensions: This AO has provisions to allow the recipients to request additional funding and extension to the contribution agreement duration after initial project completion. The extension is to allow the recipients to continue technology readiness level (TRL) progression up to TRL 6 of technologies demonstrating strong potential of integrating the lunar mission supply chain. Please refer to section 7 for details.
  • Application format : This AO uses a 2 step application process consisting of a Letter of Intent followed by an invitation to submit a Complete Application. Please refer to section 4 for more details.
  • Application start: Reception of letters of intent for this AO will begin on
  • Application deadline: This AO will be open continuously 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.

1. Introduction

In , the Canadian Government announced the Lunar Exploration Accelerator 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 issuing this AO to specifically support the Canadian space industry with funds for the development of technologies targeting the lunar economy and looking to be included into lunar mission supply chains by .

The AO will award non-repayable contributions for space technology projects that expect to enhance their commercial potential in the lunar economy in the short to medium term (i.e. 2 to 5 years).

This AO is consistent with the terms and conditions of the CSA Class Grant and Contribution (G&C) Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component.

Applicants are asked to read the following AO thoroughly before submitting their applications. This AO was prepared to help applicants complete the application process, and outlines key elements, including mandatory criteria for eligibility, details on eligible projects and the selection process. In the event of any discrepancies between this AO and the individual funding agreements governing a project, the latter document(s) will take precedence.

2. AO objectives

The CSA's LEAP technology development AO aims to position Canadian technologies in the lunar mission supply chain by .

To do so, the CSA is looking to contribute to the development of technologies that have garnered interest in the field of lunar mission and to consequently increase the commercial potential of Canadian space companies for the lunar economy.

3. Eligibility criteria

3.1 Eligible recipients

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

Multiple eligible recipients can collaborate on the same project. If selected for funding, eligible recipients, collaborating on the project, will be jointly and severally (solidarily) liable in the contribution agreement.

3.2 Eligible projects

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 must identify the lunar mission supply chain related opportunities in which the technology has potential of being integrated. The applicants must also 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.

Eligible technologies should have reached TRL-2/3 by start of project. Projects aiming at TRLs higher than TRL-6 are not eligible.

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 in this 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 which the CSA Class G&C 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.

3.3 Links to CSA priorities

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to CSA's priority of positioning the Canadian industry in the lunar mission supply chain as part of the LEAP.

3.4 Links to program objectives

To be eligible, the project must support LEAP and STDP objectives and contributes to the following objectives of the CSA Class G&C Program:

The CSA encourages the space community to collaborate with SMEs (small and medium -sized enterprises) as well as the academic sector in the implementation of the AO by promoting projects that will include SMEs and academic participation. In terms of academic involvement, 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. Applicants should strive for a balanced gender representation in the group HQPs participating in the project. If in the research discipline of the proposed project there is a gender imbalance in the HQP population, applicants are strongly encouraged to demonstrate that this imbalance has been taken into consideration in their plan for recruitment of HQPs implicated in their project.

Applicants are encouraged to propose projects that increase the representation and advancement of women and underrepresented groups in space sciences and engineering as one means to foster excellence in research and training.

3.5 Basic R&D definition

Eligible projects supported under this AO must comply with the following definition for basic R&D by providing the required justification within section 4 of the Letter of Intent form:

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

The following due diligence process will be applied to determine whether projects are compliant with this definition. To that end, justification to be provided in section 4 of the Letter of Intent form should:

The following TRL definitions must be used:

TRL 1

Basic principles observed and reported

TRL 2

Technology concept and/or application formulated

TRL 3

Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof-of-concept

TRL 4

Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment

TRL 5

Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment

TRL 6

System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment (ground or space)

Basic R&D activities supported under this AO shall be undertaken in Canada unless it is essential to the success of the project.

4. Two (2) step application process

This AO uses a two step application process consisting of an initial Letter of Intent followed by a Complete Application if invited to submit.

4.1 Letter of intent – Step 1

The objective of this step is to verify the eligibility criteria, as listed in section 5.1, of the applicant and the project before submitting a full proposal. In the Letter of Intent, applicants must identify the lunar mission supply chain opportunities in which the technology has potential of being integrated as well as demonstrate the potential interest from the actors in the lunar mission community. Only applicants that have presented a letter of intent that meets the eligibility criteria and is deemed acceptable will receive an invitation to submit a complete application (see section 4.2).

4.1.1 Required documentation

In this first step, the project submitted shall include:

Note: A single PDF-formatted file containing copies (identical to the paper copies) of all the above-requested documents with all security features disabled on standard electronic media (USB memory key, CD, or DVD). The application must be included in the file as a searchable PDF-formatted document (PDF/A-1a format preferred). If there is any discrepancy between the hard and the soft copies, the hard copy takes precedence.

Documents relating to the first step shall be mailed to the CSA at the following address:

LEAP Technology Development AO
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9

Letters of Intent will be reviewed in the order of reception and must reach CSA before 14:00 (ET), . Letters of Intent sent by email will not be accepted. Letters of Intent can be sent to the CSA prior to , but will only be considered received from that date.

4.1.2 Service standards – Letter of intent

Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions about their project. Only applicants whose projects meet the eligibility criteria listed in section 5.1 will receive an invitation to submit a complete application. The CSA reserves the right to close the AO at anytime or if it determines that the AO is fully subscribed.

4.2 Complete applications – Step 2

4.2.1 Required documentation

Applicants whose projects meet the eligibility criteria and have been invited to submit a complete application will need to provide the following documentation for formal point-rated project evaluation:

Company financial statements for the last two years and the most recent interim results will be requested, in a later phase of the evaluation process, as a condition to signing a contribution agreement. It is not required to submit financial statements with the application.

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal bylaws.

Applications must be mailed to the CSA at the following address:

LEAP Technology Development AO
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9

Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently asked questions (Section 10).

Complete Applications will be reviewed and evaluated in the order of reception.

4.2.2 Service standards

Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions regarding their application. Selected applications will be announced on the CSA website. The CSA has set the following service standards for processing times, acknowledgement of receipt, funding decisions and payment procedures.

Compliance with these service standards is a shared responsibility. Applicants must submit all required documentation in a timely fashion.

5. Evaluation of the application

5.1 Eligibility criteria – Step 1

5.2 Point rated evaluation criteria – Step 2

Applications will be evaluated according to the following point rated criteria:

  1. Innovation and market need (30%)
  2. Project feasibility, resources and risk assessment (20%)
  3. Outcomes and benefits to Canada (50%)

The definition of the criteria and scoring grid are specified in Appendix A.

5.3 Evaluation process

Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment listed in Section 5.1 will be given further consideration.

Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, an individual evaluation of the screened applications will be performed according to the criteria listed in Section 5.2. Evaluators shall be familiar with the field relevant to the applications and may include representatives of other Canadian government departments as well as external consultants.

An application must receive an overall minimum score of 80% as well as the minimum specified thresholds for each criteria to be considered further for funding.

Before a final decision is made, the CSA's Program Manager responsible for this AO may seek input and advice from other organizations, including (but not limited to) federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations.

6. Funding

6.1 Available funding and duration

The total funding available under this AO is currently expected to be approximately $13M.

The maximum contribution for any project is $2M with the possibility to extend to $4M. The target duration for any project is 18 months with the possibility to extend to Footnote 1 at the latest. Please see section 7 for details.

The overall number of contributions awarded will depend on the availability of funds.

Approved proposals will be eligible for a total government (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal) assistance of up to a maximum of 75% of total eligible project costs. Thus, the maximum assistance of $2 million will be available for projects with $2.66 million of total eligible project costs.

To determine the amount of funding to be allocated, consideration will be given to the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and the other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the applicant.

Applicants must identify all sources of funding in their applications and confirm this information in a funding agreement if the project is selected for funding. Upon completion of a project, the recipient must also disclose all sources of funding.

The CSA reserves the right not to accept any proposals or to reduce the amount of the contributions at its entire discretion.

6.2 Eligible costs

Eligible costs are direct expenses that are associated with the delivery of the approved project and that are required to achieve the expected results of the project. Expenses will be covered subject to the applicant signing a funding agreement in the form of a contribution with the CSA.

Eligible costs are limited to one or a combination of the following categories (see definitions):

The same eligible costs categories will apply in the case of an extension.

7. Extensions - Two (2) step application process

Projects funded under this AO will have the possibility to be extended. The extension would be to continue TRL progression (up to TRL-6). Additional funding for a project could be provided up to a total maximum of $4M. Project duration should not extend beyond Footnote 1.

Extension(s) will have to be initiated by a request to the CSA by the Recipient. If the request is deemed acceptable, the CSA will invite the recipient to submit for evaluation a proposal detailing the work to be performed in the extension.

7.1 Request to extend

7.1.1 Required documentation

Near the completion of the project scope defined in the contribution agreement, a recipient can make a request to the CSA, in writing, to continue TRL progression (up to TRL-6) of the developed technology. The request must include

The request is to be mailed to the CSA Program Authority as defined in the contribution agreement. The request to extend will be validated against the eligibility criteria listed in section 7.3.1.

7.1.2 Service standards

Recipients will be notified in writing of decisions about the extension of their project. Applicants whose requests meet the eligibility criteria listed in section 7.3.1 will receive an invitation to submit to the CSA a proposal detailing the additional R&D to be performed. The CSA reserves the right to close the AO at anytime or if it determines that the AO is fully subscribed.

7.2 Extension proposal

7.2.1 Required documentation

Only applicants whose projects qualify for an extension and have been invited to submit a proposal will have the opportunity to provide the following documentation for project evaluation:

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal bylaws.

Proposals must be mailed to the CSA Program Authority as defined in the contribution agreement.

7.2.2 Service standards - Extension proposal

Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions regarding their application. The CSA has set the following service standards for processing times, acknowledgement of receipt, funding decisions and payment procedures.

Compliance with these service standards is a shared responsibility. Applicants must submit all required documentation in a timely fashion.

7.3 Evaluation of the extension request

7.3.1 Eligibility criteria
7.3.2 Point rated evaluation criteria

Applications will be evaluated according to the following point rated criteria:

  1. Innovation and market need (25%)
  2. Project feasibility, resources and risk assessment (20%)
  3. Outcomes and benefits to Canada (55%)

The definition of the criteria and scoring grid are specified in Appendix B.

7.3.3 Evaluation process for the extension

Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment listed in Section 7.3.1 will be given further consideration.

Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, an individual evaluation of the screened applications will be performed according to the criteria listed in Section 7.3.2. Evaluators shall be familiar with the field relevant to the applications and may include representatives of other Canadian government departments as well as external consultants.

An application must receive an overall minimum score of 85% as well as the minimum specified thresholds per criteria to be considered further for funding.

Before a final decision is made, the CSA's Program Manager responsible for this AO may seek input and advice from other organizations, including (but not limited to) federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations.

7.4 Available funding and duration of the extension

The total funding available under this AO is currently expected to be approximately $13M, including extensions.

The a total maximum contribution for any project going through an extension is $4M. Projects being can be extended up to Footnote 1. Any request to extend beyond Footnote 1 can be rejected.

The overall number of extensions awarded will depend on the availability of funds.

Approved proposals will be eligible for a total government (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal) assistance of up to a maximum of 75% of total eligible project costs. Thus, the maximum assistance of $4 million will be available for projects with $5.33 million of total eligible project costs.

To determine the amount of funding to be allocated, consideration will be given to the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and the other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the applicant.

Applicants must identify all sources of funding in their applications and confirm this information in a funding agreement if the project is selected for funding. Upon completion of a project, the recipient must also disclose all sources of funding.

The CSA reserves the right not to accept any proposals or to reduce the amount of the contributions at its entire discretion.

8. Funding agreements

8.1 Payments

The CSA and each successful applicant (the recipient) will sign a funding agreement. This is a condition for any payment made by the CSA with respect to the approved project.

Payments for contribution agreements will be made in accordance with the process and the reporting requirements described in the signed funding agreement. Upon notice of a successful application, the CSA will have no liability until a funding agreement is signed by both parties. Only eligible costs incurred after the funding agreement is signed and indicated in the agreement will be reimbursed.

8.2 Audit

The recipient of a funding agreement shall keep proper records of all documentation related to the funded project, for the duration of the project and for six (6) years after the completion date of the project, in the event of an audit. This documentation shall be available upon request.

8.3 Conflict of interest

In the funding agreement, the recipient will certify that any current or former public office holder or public servant it employs complies with the provisions of the relevant Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector respectively.

Note: Current employees of the CSA are not eligible to participate in any way in any application under this AO.

8.4 Intellectual property

All intellectual property developed by the recipient in the course of the project shall vest in the recipient.

8.5 Organizations in Quebec

An organization in Quebec whose operations are partially or fully funded by the province of Quebec may be subject to the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif, R.S.Q., Chapter M-30.

Under Sections 3.11 and 3.12 of this Act, certain entities/organizations, as defined in the meaning of the Act, such as municipal bodies, school bodies, or public agencies, must obtain authorization from the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes, as indicated by the Act, before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada, its departments or agencies, or a federal public agency.

Consequently, any entity that is subject to the Act is responsible for obtaining such authorization before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada.

Quebec applicants must complete, sign and include the M-30 Supporting Documentation form with their application.

8.6 Performance measurement

The CSA will ask the recipients to report on the following topics:

8.7 Open science

The CSA wishes to promote the dissemination of findings that results from the projects it funds as quickly and to the greatest number of people as possible. Improved access to scientific results not only allows scientists to use a broader range of resources and knowledge, but also improves research collaboration and coordination, strengthens citizen engagement and supports the economy.

Thus, the CSA promotes the use of open access publication and archiving by recipients in order to facilitate the widest dissemination of findings that results from its funded projects. Thus, recipients are invited to publish, in a timely matter, their articles by using one of the following methods:

  1. Accessible online repository (institutional or disciplinary) so that the publication is freely accessible.
  2. Journal offering open access to articles.

The publication costs are eligible expenses as defined in section 6.2. It should be noted that these two methods are not mutually exclusive and that recipients are encouraged to use both.

Finally, the CSA wishes to receive, as a courtesy, a copy of the funded publications (if not freely accessible) or the hyperlink (if freely accessible) and its digital object identifier (DOI). These will be use to improve accessibility by including them in the CSA funded publications directory.

9. Privacy notice statement

The CSA manages and protects the information provided by the applicant under the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act. By submitting your personal information, you consent to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Privacy Statement, which explains how the information about the applicant will be processed.

The information is collected under the CSA Class G&C Program in Support of Awareness, Research and Learning - Research Component (ASC PPU 045) and Awareness and Learning Component (ASC PPU 040) . This information will be used for administration and application evaluation purposes. Personal information (such as name, contact information and biographical information) will be kept for 6 years and destroyed. According to the Privacy Act, any individual may, upon request,

  1. have access to his or her personal data and
  2. request correction of the incorrect information.

Applicants should also note that information relating to the Funding Agreement could be disclosed publicly in accordance with the laws, policies and directives of the Government of Canada.

For additional information regarding this statement, please contact:

Office of Access to Information and Privacy
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: 450-926-4866
Email: asc.aiprp-atip.csa@canada.ca

10. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

It is the responsibility of the applicants to obtain clarification of the requirements contained herein, if necessary, before submitting an application.

For any questions related to the AO, applicants shall use the following email address asc.paelexploration-explorationleap.csa@canada.ca.ca. Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently asked questions section of this AO. The CSA will respond to questions received before 14:00 (ET), .

At any point, applicants are welcome to share with the CSA their comments or suggestions regarding the program using the following generic email address or the generic web-based Comments and suggestions box.

Question 1: We are considering proposing a project that would require non-Canadian expertise in order to support the key project activities that will otherwise be conducted in Canada. In order to help us scope the project work share, could you please clarify the following:

  1. Are there any rules we should apply in terms of maximum work share (e.g. as a percentage of the total project budget) that can be allocated to the non-Canadian partner?
  2. Are there any specific justifications that our proposal should contain in order to explain why the work to be performed by the non-Canadian partner cannot be conducted in Canada?
  3. There are no evaluation criteria related to the presence of a non-Canadian partner. Can you confirm that the presence of a non-Canadian partner will not penalise the evaluation of the proposal, that no evaluation criteria take into account the presence of a non-Canadian partner, and that having a non-Canadian partner will not have a negative impact on the chances of success of a proposal?

Answer 1:

  1. Please see section 3.5: Basic R&D activities supported under this AO shall be undertaken in Canada unless it is essential to the success of the project.

    The intent of this AO is to provide funding to enhance the R&D capacity of the Canadian industry and, as such, R&D activities supported under this AO shall be undertaken in Canada. Foreign consultants are acceptable as eligible costs as long as reasonable efforts to find Canadian consultants have been demonstrated.

  2. It is up to the applicant to provide the appropriate justification as to why the work to be performed by the non-Canadian partner cannot be conducted in Canada as the justification can vary. The CSA will evaluate the justification on a case-by-case basis.

  3. As mentioned in answer 1b, it is up to the applicant to justify why the work needs to be performed outside of Canada and although there is no specific evaluation criterion related to the presence of non-Canadian partners, the following criterion evaluates the creation of highly skilled jobs in Canada: Outcomes and benefits to Canada.

Question 2: Consultant services

  1. For pricing purposes, could you please clarify what constitutes a valid 'consultant service', versus the work to be conducted by the project team and that should be costed under the category 'salaries and benefits'?
  2. Can you please also clarify if cost of consultant services may include a profit margin?

Answer 2:

  1. Consultants can not be employees on the recipient's payroll. Eligible personnel for the "salaries and benefits" category must be employees on the recipient's payroll. Please also see Eligible Costs Definitions.
  2. Consultant services may include a profit margin. Please refer to section 6.2.

Question 3: To make an application, is a company required to be anything more than a legally registered corporation? Are there any other licenses or registrations that would be required?

Answer 3: The eligible recipients for this AO are described as the following: "Eligible recipients are limited to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada, excluding academic institutions" (see section 3.1). Each application to this AO must include a copy of the document(s) confirming the legal name of the applicant (see section 4.1 Required documentation). The document that confirms the legal name of the applicant is the Certificate of Incorporation or the Letters Patent of Incorporation.

Question 4: For the purposes of this AO, what definition of Highly Qualified People (HQP) is being used? Are HQP considered to be only current masters or PhD students, or do they also include college students in a STEM-related field, or individuals who have already graduated?

Answer 4: HQP in this AO is defined as project managers, engineers, scientists and post-doc fellows. Students are defined separately and can be current Masters, PhD, and college students in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related field.

Question 5: Regarding the above announcement of opportunity, does the SACC manual apply in this case? Specifically, does the SACC manual, Section 1, subsection 07 () on delayed bids apply for this submission?

Answer 5: The Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions (SACC) Manual does not apply as the AO generates contributions managed by the CSA and not contracts managed by Public Services and Procurement Canada. In terms of deadlines for applications, please see Sections 4.1 and 4.2. All applications received after this date and time will be rejected.

Question 6: In order to apply to this AO, my enterprise has just registered as a sole proprietorship. Do I have to incorporate?

Answer 6: It is not required to incorporate. Eligible recipients are for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada, excluding academic institutions (see section 3.1). The CSA requires documents that prove the legal status of an enterprise. This could include registration documents, a Certificate of Incorporation or the Letters Patent of Incorporation. The proof of legal status of the enterprise is required with the application and before the closing date of the AO.

Question 7: In reference to section 4.2.1, to apply, the financial statements of the two past years as well as the most recent interim results of an enterprise will have to be provided. My enterprise has just been registered. I do not have financial statements for the past two years, nor interim results. May I still apply?

Answer 7: Yes, you may still apply. In the case the enterprise has recently been registered and financial statements do not exist, they will not be required. The date of registration or incorporation will be required to prove that the enterprise has not existed long enough for financial statements to exist and to be provided.

Question 8: Is it sufficient to utilize a labor category rate (minus overhead) or is the individual's salary necessary. For example, at my company we have labor categories for RF engineer, all RF engineers are billed internally to projects at that rate. However an employee is paid a salary which may be more or less than the hourly labor category rate. Which rate is required by the CSA?

Answer 8: The individual's salary is required. The amount invoiced shall be actual gross pay for the work performed and shall include no markup for profit, selling, administration or financing. Labour claims must be supported by suitable records such as time sheets and records, and be held for verification at time of audit. Management personnel are required to maintain appropriate records of time devoted to the project. For complete details, please see definition of salaries and benefits provided in section 6.2.

Question 9: Can the CSA comment on eligibility of suggested projects?

Answer 9: For the sake of fairness, the CSA cannot provide feedback on project eligibility during the AO's posting period. Applicants must refer to section 3 to determine if a project is eligible.

Question 10: What is the maximum technology readiness level that can be reached?

Answer 10: TRL 6 is the maximum TRL supported by this AO.

Question 11: The standards for evaluating TRL that are presented in the NASA Systems Engineering Handbook and the ESA TRL handbook are slightly different. Which standard would you like us to use?

Answer 11: TRL evaluation must be aligned with definitions provided in section 3.5.

Question 12: In the Eligible Projects section 3.2 what constitutes a standalone R&D?

Answer 12: An R&D project is considered standalone if it clearly demonstrates, and is accepted by the CSA, as having its own:

  • technological and/or scientific area;
  • area of application/defined reference mission; and
  • space/terrestrial potential of commercialization paths.

Question 13: With regards to the 75% maximum total government assistance, does this limit include foreign governments funding or is it limited to Canadian governments?

Answer 13: The 75% maximum total government assistance refers to Canadian governments (federal, provincial, municipal). Eligible costs have to be incurred by the recipient(s) and in-kind contributions are not accepted.

Question 14:

  1. How is a subcontractor different from a contributing partner? Does a contributing partner have a contract directly with the CSA or through the Prime as a subcontract?
  2. Confirm subcontractors are treated as consultants. If so, they can use fully burdened fees?
  3. Prime contractor is allowed to apply overhead on subcontractor scope?

Answer 14:

  1. Partners are all jointly and severally (solitarily) liable in the contribution agreement and are all considered funding recipients. A subcontractor to a funding recipient does not have a legal relationship with CSA but rather the subcontractor has a legal relationship with the funding recipient through a subcontract. Only partners can participate to the minimum beneficiary contribution of 25% of total project costs. In-kind contributions, including a price reduction from a consultant, are not accepted as a contribution.
  2. Subcontractors to the funding recipient can be consultants and can charge fully burdened labor rates. The funding recipient can only claim the actual gross pay of its employees for the work performed which shall include no markup for profit, selling, administration or financing. Please also see section 6 for Eligible costs definitions.
  3. The funding recipient can apply 15% overhead to the eligible costs allocated to a subcontractor. Overhead (administrative) costs are not to exceed 15% of project eligible costs.

Question 15: Is there a length of the separate sections in the full proposal?

Answer 15: No, there is no length constraint imposed. The length of the sections should be sufficient to responds to the evaluation criteria in Appendix A.

Question 16: It is not clear should the full proposal be a standalone document (what format?) or be incorporated into the Application Form?

Answer 16: The application form and proposal should be packaged as a single PDF-formatted file containing copies (identical to the paper copies) of all the requested documents with all security features disabled on standard electronic media (USB memory key, CD, or DVD). The application must be included in the file as a searchable PDF-formatted document (PDF/A-1a format preferred). If there is any discrepancy between the hard and the soft copies, the hard copy takes precedence.

Question 17: I am wondering if it's possible get more information on the available supply chains that applicants can target. This would be very helpful for smaller technology-focused companies and academia, who may not have such information at hand.

Answer 17: CSA cannot provide information on the available supply chains. Business development activities such as identifying potential partners and opportunities are entirely under the applicant's responsibility.

Question 18: In the description of the Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) Technology development (AO) the targeted maximum project duration is 18 months with the possibility to extend to . Is it possible to submit a 2-year program (24 months)? Would such a project still be eligible, or the duration of the project has to be 18 months.

Answer 18: The submitted project duration must be of 18 months maximum.

Question 19: In the website, it is written that the program aims to support the basic research and development of technologies that demonstrate strong potential of entering the lunar missions supply chain. My company is developing a space robot and robot arms that can be applied in the exploration mission in space. From CSA's perspective, is the space robot in the scope of the LEAP technology development program and can be considered as having the potential of being integrated into the lunar missions supply chain?

Moreover, is there any other request about the applicant? For instant, minimal income of last year and number of employees?

Answer 19: CSA cannot share its perspective regarding technological domains out of the principle of fairness. The case must be made by the applicant. To be eligible for funding, applicants must identify the lunar mission supply chain-related opportunities in which the technology has potential of being integrated. The applicants must also demonstrate the potential interest in the technology from the stakeholders in the lunar mission community.

There are no requirements regarding minimal income or number of employees to be eligible for funding. Please note that Company financial statements for the last two years and the most recent interim results will be requested, in a later phase of the evaluation process, as a condition to signing a contribution agreement. It is not required to submit financial statements with the application.

Question 20: The form required for step 2, Section 5 – Basic R&D Justification, seems to be a replication of what we submitted in step 1/Letter of Intent. Is it sufficient to attach our letter of intent response to cover the requirement for this section of the form or are we expected to expand upon this justification in our proposal?

Answer 20: Yes it is sufficient to attach the letter of intent response to cover the requirement for this section of the form.

Appendix A: Point-rated evaluation criteria

Application must receive an overall minimum score of 80% as well as minimum specified thresholds to be considered for funding. Obtaining the highest score possible maximizes your chance of being selected to obtain financial support (see Section 6). The following point-rated criteria will be evaluated using 4 benchmark statements. Each benchmark statement will receive the following percentage of maximum points according to the following scale:

  1. Poor: 25%
  2. Average: 50%
  3. Good: 75%
  4. Excellent: 100%

1. Innovation and market need (30% of overall score)

1.1 Degree of innovation

This criterion evaluates the novelty associated with the new concepts, products and/or know-how to be developed. Innovation can range from sustaining innovations that improve the performance of existing products (but do not create new markets) to disruptive innovations that offer an entirely different value proposition leading to the creation of new markets. This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: There is little or no innovation being applied to the development of the proposed concepts, products or know-how.
  • Average: A moderate level of innovation is being applied that will lead to improved performance of existing concepts, products and/or know-how.
  • Good: A high level of innovation is being applied that will lead to the development of leading-edge concepts, products and/or know-how.
  • Excellent: The level of innovation is transformative and will lead to the development of new concepts, products and/or know-how for new markets.
1.2 Market assessment

This criterion evaluates the applicant's understanding of the market needs associated with the proposed technology. It includes a thorough analysis of market demand. Incidentally, this criterion also evaluates whether the proposal addresses the existence and number of competing alternatives on the market. This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: The applicant is not aware of the current market share pertaining to the technology being developed and the many competitive alternatives already existing on the market. The proposal does not identify the factors that drive demand for this technology or the relevant customers and competitors. The proposal does not present a strategy for competing with the alternatives.
  • Average: The proposal somewhat identifies the factors that drive demand for this technology, but does not identify the relevant customers and competitors. Some competitive alternatives exist on the market but the proposal provides an incomplete plan for competing with the alternatives. The proposal does not contain any supporting market research/data. The applicant is not clearly aware of the current market share pertaining to the technology to be developed.
  • Good: The proposal identifies the factors that drive demand for this technology and the relevant customers and competitors, but this is supported by limited market research/data. A limited number of competitive alternatives exist on the market, and the proposal provides a detailed plan for competing with those alternatives. The applicant is aware of the current market share pertaining to the technology to be developed and the market share it can hold in the supply chain for future lunar missions.
  • Excellent: The proposal clearly identifies the factors that drive demand for this technology and the relevant customers and competitors, and is well supported by market research/data. Very few or no competitive alternatives exist on the market. The applicant is aware of the current market share pertaining to the technology to be developed and the market share it can hold in the supply chain for future lunar missions. The proposal provides a comprehensive plan for competing with any alternatives.

2. Project feasibility, resources and risk assessment (20% of overall score)

This criterion evaluates the completeness and effectiveness of the proposed implementation plan in directing the project to successful completion as well as the combined technical qualifications and experience of the team assembled to carry out the proposed work.

This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: The implementation plan is poorly defined, incomplete or difficult to understand. There is a high likelihood that the objectives will not be met due to inappropriate methodology, technical team, budget, schedule, key risks or availability of resources.
  • Average: The implementation plan is somewhat defined but lacks details or clarity. Doubts remain regarding the technical methodology of the proposed work, qualifications of the technical team or the likelihood that the objectives will be met.
  • Good: The implementation plan is complete and well defined. The proposed methodology seems adequately suited for the proposed work to be carried out and the technical team has worked with closely related technologies. The expectation that the proposed work will meet the set objectives and be completed on schedule and within budget is credible.
  • Excellent: The implementation plan is complete, very well defined and coherent. The methodology described is logical and well suited for the proposed work to be carried out. The proposed team possesses all the qualifications and experience required to perform the proposed work. The likelihood that the proposed work will meet the set objectives and be completed on schedule and within budget is high.

3. Outcomes and benefits to Canada (50% of overall score)

3.1 Path to commercial opportunities

This criterion evaluates the applicant's roadmap for implementing the technology in the lunar mission supply chain. This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: No relevant lunar mission supply chain opportunities have been identified for this technology. The proposal provides a poor or no post-project strategy to further develop the technology in order to achieve commercial potential.
  • Average: The proposal somewhat identifies relevant future lunar mission supply chain opportunities for this technology. The proposal provides an average post-project strategy with limited information on budget, schedule and sources of funding to further develop the technology in order to achieve commercial potential.
  • Good: The proposal identifies relevant future lunar mission supply chain opportunities targeted for this technology. The proposal provides a good post-project strategy with information on budget, schedule and sources of funding to further develop the technology in order to achieve commercial potential. The proposal demonstrates some potential of the technology being re-used in space or on Earth.
  • Excellent: The proposal clearly identifies relevant future lunar mission supply chain opportunities targeted for this technology. The proposal provides an excellent post-project strategy with clear information on budget, schedule and sources of funding to further develop the technology in order to achieve commercial potential. The proposal demonstrates clear opportunities to also re-use the technology in space or on Earth.
3.2 Competitive advantage and economic benefits

This criterion assesses the merit and potential of the proposed project to positively affect the company's competitive advantage and/or overall market share. It is recognized that an improvement in the company's overall market share (or competitive advantage) can be achieved through creating a new market, penetrating for the first time an existing one and/or increasing one's position in an already accessed market:

  • Poor: The proposed project is unlikely to impact the company's competitive advantage and the impact on the revenues generated are marginal in respect to the level of effort required to develop the technology.
  • Average: The proposed project is likely to improve the company's competitive advantage in integrating the lunar missions supply chain and is likely to have an impact on company growth in terms of revenue and size.
  • Good: The proposed project will improve the company's competitive advantage in integrating the lunar missions supply chain. The proposal demonstrates a credible impact on company growth in terms of revenue and size.
  • Excellent: The proposed project will substantially improve the company's competitive advantage in integrating the lunar missions supply chains. The proposal demonstrates an overall significant growth in terms of revenue and size. The proposal includes formally expressed interest of clients (Letters of Interest, Memorandums of understanding [MOUs], Memorandums of agreement [MOAs], etc.) indicative of entering the lunar mission supply chain. The project will have an impact on other Canadian firms.
3.3 Public benefits

This criterion assesses the merit and potential of the proposed project to positively affect the Canadian public. This criterion also evaluates the degree to which this project will help retain and enhance the number of HQP as well as their knowledge and expertise through their involvement in this project and the degree to which the project encourages Canadians to develop STEM skills in order to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.

This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: The proposed project has no impact on the Canadian public or it does not contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills.
  • Average: The proposed project is likely to impact the Canadian public or is likely to contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills.
  • Good: The proposed project will have an impact on the Canadian public or will contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills.
  • Excellent: The proposed project will have a considerable impact on the Canadian public and will contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills. The project has the potential to have a wide scale impact at the national level.

Appendix B: Point-rated evaluation criteria for extension

Application must receive an overall minimum score of 85% as well as minimum specified thresholds to be considered for funding. Obtaining the highest score possible maximizes your chance of being selected to obtain financial support (see Section 6). The following point-rated criteria will be evaluated using 4 benchmark statements. Each benchmark statement will receive the following percentage of maximum points according to the following scale:

  1. Poor: 25%
  2. Average: 50%
  3. Good: 75%
  4. Excellent: 100%

1. Market need (25% of overall score)

1.1 Market assessment

This criterion evaluates the applicant's understanding of the market needs associated with the proposed technology. It includes a thorough analysis of market demand. Incidentally, this criterion also evaluates whether the proposal addresses the existence and number of competing alternatives on the market. This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: The applicant is not aware of the current market share pertaining to the technology being developed and the many competitive alternatives already existing on the market. The proposal does not identify the factors that drive demand for this technology or the relevant customers and competitors. The proposal does not present a strategy for competing with the alternatives.
  • Average: The proposal somewhat identifies the factors that drive demand for this technology, but does not identify the relevant customers and competitors. Some competitive alternatives exist on the market but the proposal provides an incomplete plan for competing with the alternatives. The proposal does not contain any supporting market research/data. The applicant is not clearly aware of the current market share pertaining to the technology to be developed.
  • Good: The proposal identifies the factors that drive demand for this technology and the relevant customers and competitors, but this is supported by limited market research/data. A limited number of competitive alternatives exist on the market, and the proposal provides a detailed plan for competing with those alternatives. The applicant is aware of the current market share pertaining to the technology to be developed and the market share it can hold in the supply chain for future lunar missions.
  • Excellent: The proposal clearly identifies the factors that drive demand for this technology and the relevant customers and competitors, and is well supported by market research/data. Very few or no competitive alternatives exist on the market. The applicant is aware of the current market share pertaining to the technology to be developed and the market share it can hold in the supply chain for future lunar missions. The proposal provides a comprehensive plan for competing with any alternatives.

2. Project feasibility, resources and risk assessment (20% of overall score)

This criterion evaluates the completeness and effectiveness of the proposed implementation plan in directing the project to successful completion as well as the combined technical qualifications and experience of the team assembled to carry out the proposed work.

This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: The implementation plan is poorly defined, incomplete or difficult to understand. There is a high likelihood that the objectives will not be met due to inappropriate methodology, technical team, budget, schedule, key risks or availability of resources.
  • Average: The implementation plan is somewhat defined but lacks details or clarity. Doubts remain regarding the technical methodology of the proposed work, qualifications of the technical team or the likelihood that the objectives will be met.
  • Good: The implementation plan is complete and well defined. The proposed methodology seems adequately suited for the proposed work to be carried out and the technical team has worked with closely related technologies. The expectation that the proposed work will meet the set objectives and be completed on schedule and within budget is credible.
  • Excellent: The implementation plan is complete, very well defined and coherent. The methodology described is logical and well suited for the proposed work to be carried out. The proposed team possesses all the qualifications and experience required to perform the proposed work. The likelihood that the proposed work will meet the set objectives and be completed on schedule and within budget is high.

3. Outcomes and benefits to Canada (55% of overall score)

3.1 Path to commercial opportunities

This criterion evaluates the applicant's roadmap for implementing the technology in the lunar mission supply chain. This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: No relevant lunar mission supply chain opportunities have been identified for this technology. The proposal provides a poor or no post-project strategy to further develop the technology in order to achieve commercial potential.
  • Average: The proposal somewhat identifies relevant future lunar mission supply chain opportunities for this technology. The proposal provides an average post-project strategy with limited information on budget and schedule to further develop the technology in order to achieve commercial potential.
  • Good: The proposal identifies relevant future lunar mission supply chain opportunities targeted for this technology. The proposal demonstrates a certain level of confidence in capturing the provided opportunities. The proposal provides a good post-project strategy with information on budget and schedule to further develop the technology in order to achieve commercial potential. The proposal demonstrates some potential of the technology being re-used in space or on Earth.
  • Excellent: The proposal clearly identifies relevant future lunar mission supply chain opportunities targeted for this technology. The proposal demonstrates a high level of confidence in capturing the provided opportunities. The proposal provides an excellent post-project strategy with clear information on budget and schedule to further develop the technology in order to achieve commercial potential. The proposal demonstrates clear opportunities to also re-use the technology in space or on Earth.
3.2 Competitive advantage and economic benefits

This criterion assesses the merit and potential of the proposed project to positively affect the company's competitive advantage and/or overall market share. It is recognized that an improvement in the company's overall market share (or competitive advantage) can be achieved through creating a new market, penetrating for the first time an existing one and/or increasing one's position in an already accessed market:

  • Poor: The proposed project is unlikely to impact the company's competitive advantage and the impact on the revenues generated are marginal in respect to the level of effort required to develop the technology.
  • Average: The proposed project is likely to improve the company's competitive advantage in integrating the lunar missions supply chain and is likely to have an impact on company growth in terms of revenue and size.
  • Good: The proposed project will improve the company's competitive advantage in integrating the lunar missions supply chain. The proposal demonstrates a credible impact on company growth in terms of revenue and size.
  • Excellent: The proposed project will substantially improve the company's competitive advantage in integrating the lunar missions supply chains. The proposal demonstrates an overall significant growth in terms of revenue and size. The proposal includes formally expressed interest of clients (Letters of Intent, MOUs, MOAs, etc.) indicative of entering the lunar mission supply chain. The project will have an impact on other Canadian firms. The proposal provides explanations for variations in projections since initial proposal.
3.3 Public benefits

This criterion assesses the merit and potential of the proposed project to positively affect the Canadian public. This criterion also evaluates the degree to which this project will help retain and enhance the number of HQP as well as their knowledge and expertise through their involvement in this project and the degree to which the project encourages Canadians to develop STEM skills in order to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.

This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: The proposed project has no impact on the Canadian public or it does not contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills.
  • Average: The proposed project is likely to impact the Canadian public or is likely to contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills.
  • Good: The proposed project will have an impact on the Canadian public or will contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills.
  • Excellent: The proposed project will have a considerable impact on the Canadian public and will contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills. The project has the potential to have a wide scale impact at the national level.
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