SAINTE-ANNE-DE-BELLEVUE, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - May 5, 2016) - Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, was in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue today to announce a $54-million contribution to MDA Systems Ltd. and its partners. The support will help MDA and its partners develop and test next-generation satellite technologies, which will lead to better radar and search and rescue capabilities, faster data transmission, and improved cloud-based data processing capabilities.

This is the first project to be funded under the government's Technology Demonstration Program. MDA will collaborate with other leading Canadian satellite companies and with university researchers on the project.

Federal investments through the Technology Demonstration Program encourage early-stage R&D and promote collaborative efforts among firms, universities and research institutions.


"Our government is proud to support research projects like this that will encourage innovation for years to come. Companies are struggling to reduce the time it takes to bring great ideas to market, and testing innovations is essential to making that transition. Through programs like the Technology Demonstration Program, we are committed to ensuring that Canada's aerospace and defence industry remains a global leader."

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"This contribution agreement will help MDA and the other recipients to develop innovative technologies in Canada. Space has been, and continues to be, a driver of innovation. From communications satellites that bring connectivity to remote parts of Canada; to radar imaging satellites that monitor Canada's North, help Canada assert its sovereignty and aid ships to safely navigate coastal waters; and to robotic arms that assist on the space station and in the exploration of Mars and the Moon, space has been at the forefront of innovation. This contribution shows the Canadian government's commitment to innovation and its recognition of the strategic importance of the space industry to Canada's future economic development."

- Don Osborne, Group Vice President of Information Systems, MDA

Quick facts

  • Five leading Canadian satellite, communications and geomatics technology companies will work with MDA on this project: Whipcord (Lethbridge, Alberta), COM DEV International (Cambridge, Ontario), exactEarth (Cambridge, Ontario), Magellan Aerospace (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and UrtheCast (Vancouver, British Columbia.).
  • MDA Systems Ltd, a subsidiary of Macdonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., is a leading provider of space-based technology for surveillance and intelligence applications as well as for direct-to-home television, satellite radio, broadband Internet and mobile communications.
  • MDA Systems expects to strengthen its long-standing research collaboration with Simon Fraser University over the course of this demonstration project, while several other universities will also be directly involved through their research relationships with the project's corporate partners.
  • Besides the work being done at Richmond, British Columbia-based MDA Systems, MDA's Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and Brampton divisions will also contribute to the project.
  • This project aims to develop better radar and search and rescue capabilities, which will have an impact on Canada's coastal and remote areas; provide faster data transmission, which could have an enormous impact on rural and remote area communications; and improve cloud-based data processing capabilities.

Related products

- Backgrounder: Technology Demonstration Program - Next Generation of Radar, Optical and Communication Satellites

Associated links

- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's Industrial Technologies Office

- Technology Demonstration Program

- MDA Canada website

- Whipcord website

- COM DEV International website

- exactEarth website

- Magellan Aerospace website

- UrtheCast website

Follow Minister Bains on social media.

Twitter: @MinisterISED

Contact Information:

Philip Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation,
Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada