Government of Canada invests in innovative satellite technology start-up

News release

Investment will help create 40 jobs and promote innovation in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta

November 15, 2018 – Montréal, Quebec

In the face of global economic challenges, the Government of Canada is continuing to invest in innovation in Canada’s digital and space industries to create good middle-class jobs and ensure these sectors continue to thrive in a competitive global market.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced an investment of $13 million in NorthStar Earth and Space Inc. This start-up company plans a new approach to the challenges facing our planet by using low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to collect highly valuable data and images both on Earth and in space.

The funding will help NorthStar revolutionize the way we see the world. Better satellite images will improve the forecasting and tracking of events on Earth such as forest fires, rising sea levels and oil spills. In space, NorthStar will introduce a new, more efficient and effective way to protect space assets by tracking space debris, which can pose a threat to satellites.

Thanks in part to this investment, NorthStar will collaborate with Canadian post-secondary institutions, train Canadian workers and students in advanced digital technologies, and implement a diversity and gender plan by 2019. The project will bring more investments in R&D and position Canada as a world leader in space technology.

The Government of Canada supports high-quality business investments by encouraging R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and the commercialization of innovative products, processes and services and will facilitate the growth of innovative firms. This investment will also help stabilize and strengthen regional economies in Quebec.


“NorthStar’s project demonstrates how Canada’s space sector is driving game-changing innovations and developing solutions to real-world problems. Our government’s investment will help ensure that Quebec remains at the forefront of advanced information technology, creating good jobs for the middle class and positioning Canada’s economy to be globally competitive.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

The participation of the Government of Canada is critical to our mission of creating, in Montréal, an innovative global environment information platform that will empower humanity to preserve our planet. NorthStar's first data centre will be located in Montréal, and our Earth stations will be deployed in Canada’s northern communities. When fully operational, NorthStar expects to directly employ 400 highly skilled persons in Canada and create 1,200 indirect jobs.”

Stewart Bain, Chief Executive Officer, NorthStar Earth and Space Inc.

Quick facts

  • Founded in 2015 in Montréal, NorthStar now employs more than 20 people in Canada in an emerging global market for space information services.

  • The total value of the project is $51 million.

  • Of the $13-million federal investment, $9.5 million comes through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a $1.26-billion program that is helping Canada become a global leader in innovation.

  • Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions has granted NorthStar a repayable contribution of $3.5 million through the Quebec Economic Development Program.

  • Canada’s space industry includes more than 100 firms and organizations, contributes 2.3 billion dollars to Canada’s GDP, and employs nearly 10,000 people in well-paying middle-class jobs.

  • In addition to the Strategic Innovation Fund, there are hundreds of programs and services to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada’s economy. With a simple, story-based user interface, the new Innovation Canada platform can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.

Associated links


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Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Media Relations
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

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