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Ottawa In Space: Councillor Maria McRae

Ottawa - Parliament Hill

City of Ottawa Councillor Maria McRae (@CouncillorMcRae), an avowed “Space Geek” who led the city of Ottawa in expressing its appreciation of Astronaut Chris Hadfield and the Expedition 34/35 crew),  gave a very engaging presentation during the Canadian Space Summit 2013, on the benefits of building space businesses in Ottawa. Being an Ottawa native myself I found myself nodding in happy agreement 🙂

Ottawa In Space

Why Ottawa?

Ottawa is Canada’s National Capital and has a world class quality of life and educated population. #1 Global City according to Martin Prosperity Index. It is less than a two-hour flight to Montreal, Toronto, Boston, NYC, Washington, Detroit, and Chicago – in other words to markets of 200 million people. It is linked to many industries including engineering, Aeronautical, IT, DND, communications, intelligence solutions, aviation, and defense. 64% of the population has post-secondary education. There are 130 national embassies located here. Over $4.7 B of investment capital in Ottawa technology companies has been made in the last decade.

Knowledge Capital

There are over 1900 knowledge-based companies. 44 research labs are here. It is the #1 most affordable city in the world according to Mercer, the #3 most sustainable city in World, and the #1 best city to live according to Money Magazine.

Ottawa has one of the highest concentrations of scientists and engineers. University of Ottawa and Carleton University produce over 2500 graduates per year specialized in aerospace and security. 12,800 persons enrolled currently in programs that feed into that sector, 450+ faculty. Major academic institutions include University of Ottawa, Carleton University, and La Cite Collegiale, Algonquin College, and University of Quebec in Outaouais. OCIMAE is the Ottawa-Carleton Institute for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

There is also significant institutional infrastructure, such as the Canadian Space Agency’s David Florida Laboratory. The Federal Government (headquartered in Ottawa-Gatineau) has committed $155M over the next five years for digital infrastructure investments.

Private sector overview

Over 70 companies are directly involved in civil aircraft and space technologies in Ottawa. Examples include ComDev, Gladstone Aerospace, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin. There are 14000+ employees at companies engaged in aviation.

The Ottawa Advantage

  • Proximity to Fed government departments and labs.
  • Within a 2 hour flight to 200M+ consumers.
  • High concentration of scientists and engineers
  • 2500 grads a year
  • 300 business / 14,000 employees = $46 B GDP.
  • Big city amenities, small city feel. Clean safe and friendly. Outdoor playground. Many cultural attactions and festivals.
  • #1 Best City to Live In (Money Sense, 2012)

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