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GeoIgnite 2020: Growing Canada’s Next Earth Observation (EO) Generation

GeoIgnite is Canada’s National Geospatial conference hosted by GoGeomatics Canada. GeoIgnite was held online using Zoom July 22nd to 24th, 2020.  This event showcased Canadian geospatial community and leaders of Canada’s location technology sector. The conference brought together professionals from government and industry for innovative programming and updates on our sector. Every year GeoIgnite is a unique opportunity for the geospatial community in Canada and abroad to learn, share, and engage with one another at our virtual conference.

Keynote: Growing Canada’s Next Earth Observation (EO) Generation , 23 July 2020

Speaker: Paul Kennedy, Vice President Geointelligence of MDA

Canada has a proud history in Earth Observation, supporting a strong export industry driven on EO imagery and geospatial analytics. It is incumbent on all of us to continue Canada’s strong presence in the global EO community and we can only do that with a concerted effort and plan to grow the next generation of leaders. After 51 years of leadership in space and spatial information technology MDA was recently sold to a consortium led by Toronto-based investment firm Northern Private Capital. This event marks the return of MDA to Canadian control as a private, independent company with a diverse and skilled team across the country. This move also reinvigorates our plans to continue to grow as part of Canada’s geospatial ecosystem taking world-leading solutions to the global market.

Geospatial Information has always been at the core of MDA. Our Geointelligence division builds solutions across defence, civil, and commercial markets in maritime domain awareness, operational asset monitoring, geospatial data management, aeronautical information systems, and advanced signal processing. Our LaunchPad initiative is rapidly adding small and medium enterprise companies into our partner community and we see our partnerships as key to the success of MDA and of the broader industry in Canada.

This presentation was so informative. Paul Kennedy spoke about the six critical future challenges in the world that space-based Earth Observation can help. “How to do this in a way that provides sustainable employment and activity profiles for industry, academia and government?” He provided a potential formula for success which was a collaboration between Government, Industry and Academia.

In this presentation, the functional components for building blocks for the next-gen leadership were represented: Opportunity, Training and Growth. In addition, Purpose, Thought Leadership and Diversity were the other three elements which Paul Kennedy believed that we need to thrive.

Watch the recorded video to learn more about this great presentation and the suggestions for growing Canada’s next Earth Observation generation.