Canadian Space Agency
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) aims to troubadour through venues across the country, spreading information about what it is like to live on the International Space Station, courtesy of a $1.25-million solicitation it awarded to Expographiq (aka Crecan International Ltd.) in late November for an exhibit called "Living in Space".
Until 2011, the Gatineau-based firm will design, create and then transport the exhibit across the country. It is supposed to show how astronauts eat, sleep, wash and work while doing their work on the station.
The contract does not preclude subcontracting part of the work to other firms.
Expographiq's portfolio ranges from modular displays to more elaborate setups that have been featured at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change and the World Forestry Congress in Quebec City.
Recently, Expographiq earned a "productivity improvement" grant from the Canada Economic Development Agency (CED); the $275,000* contribution added three jobs to the firm.
Unusually, in early July, the CSA put out a request to interested parties asking if the exhibit was feasible with the budget they proposed.
The request for industry comments asked if designing, creating and transporting the exhibit would be viable under the budget, and if one firm could do it rather than a consortium.
Elizabeth Howell is a space, science and business journalist with credits in publications like the Globe and Mail, Air and Space Smithsonian, the Space Review, the Ottawa Business Journal and a contributor to SpaceRef.
* August 18, 2010 - Earlier we had incorrectly reported the contribution as $565,000. However we have since been told that was the amount requested of which $275,000 was accepted out of which 50% was financed by the CED.