On October 28th, Andøya Space Center (ASC) and NAROM signed a renewed CaNoRock MoU as a part of Transatlantic Science Week in Toronot, Canada. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is on the future development of the CaNoRock student training and research program. CaNoRock has been running since 2009, and was officially incepted at Andøya Space Center by the former Canadian Ambassador to Norway, Mr. John Hannaford in January 2011.
CaNoRock is a partnership between ASC, NAROM, the Norwegian universities of Oslo, Tromsø, University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), Bergen and the Canadian universities of Calgary, Alberta and Saskatchewan, and is funded by the Norwegian Space Centre, Canadian Space Agency and the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU) .
The signing was chaired by Ambassador of Norway to Canada Mona Elisabeth Brøther and Ambassador of Canada to Norway David Sproule. The representatives from the participating institutions were: Prof. David Knudsen (U of Calgary), Prof. Ian Mann (U of Alberta), Kolbjørn Blix Dahle (signing on behalf of Andøya Space Center/NAROM), Jøran Moen (Adjunct Prof. at UNIS (signing on behalf of Ole Arve Misund, Managing Direcor of UNIS)), Rektor Anne Husebekk (U of Tromsø), Rektor Dag Rune Olsen (U of Bergen), Rektor Ole Petter Ottersen (U of Oslo) and Provst & Vice President Academic Ernie Barber (U of Saskatchewan).
The CaNoRock program is a 10-year (2010-2020), bilateral student sounding rocket and satellite program between Canada and Norway. The program aims to motivate students to join space activities and acquire an enhanced knowledge in physics, engineering and electronics for sounding rockets (instrument-carrying rockets designed to take measurements and perform scientific experiments), miniaturized satellites (CubeSats) and stratospheric balloons.
CaNoRock was born at the Transatlantic Science Week in Ottawa in 2008. It started as a response to a call by Director General David Kendal of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for student programs in rocket activity and signalized that they would consider to by capacity.
The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU) provided seed money for a market test amongst students at the universities of Alberta, Calgary and Saskatchewan in 2009, funding 4 student places in the student rocket program in the Universities of Oslo and Tromsø in the fall of 2009. With more than fifty applicants from Canada, this was a great success and CaNoRock I was launched. CSA and the Norwegian Space Center (NSC) then provided finding for a three year student program for 20 students on each annual rocket launch mission.
The joint activites in the CaNoRock program has resulted in more than 200 Norwegian & Canadian student exchanges.
CaNoRock STEP (2012-2016)
The Canada-Norway Rocket Science Training and Educational Program is a project under the Norwegian Partnership Program for Higher Education Collaboration with North America
The main objective of CaNoRock STEP is to establish opportunities for collaborative, research-led active training and education that build on the educational content of CaNoRock, and which enable graduate-level students to take part in joint Norway-Canada space research projects. In 2012, CaNoRock STEP received a NOK 2 mill. (CAD 340 000) grant from the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU) for a 4-year joint project between the Norwegian universities of Oslo, Bergen, Tromsø and UNIS with their Canadian partner universities of Calgary, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
- 20 student exchanges for one semester (BSc/MSc/PhD) from Norway to Canada each year.
- 20 student exchanges for one semester (BSc/MSc/PhD) from Canada to Norway each year.
- Support for 22 weeks of staff exchange to co-supervise and plan the research education activities
- 3 PhD Schools x 10 PhD students
- Develop at least one externally funded research project
During a CaNoRock side event following the MoU signing process, the following topics were up for debate amongs the partners and funding agencies:
- Increasing the number of student exchanges
- Establishing a CaNoSat student satellite program
- Setting up a Joint International Space Degree
The new MOU:
The CaNoRock student rocket and exchange program, sponsored by the Norwegian Space Centre and the Canadian Space Agency is a successful student rocket program, recruiting an increasing number of students to space physics and technology.
- It also recruits students to the mobility program CaNoRock STEP (Canada-Norway Rocket Science Training and Educational Program) to facilitate increased mobility of staff and students between the Norwegian and the Canadian partners. The aim is to establish research opportunities for graduate-level students on prioritized rocket and satellite projects in Norway and Canada.
- CaNoRock STEP is funded until 2016 by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SiU). The goal is that the Parties by that date have established a sustainable future collaborative program in research and education with the necessary external funding.
- The signing of this MoU expresses each Party’s commitment to strive to allocate sufficient academic, administrative and technical resources to successfully complete the CaNoRock STEP partnership program.
- The aim is to explore the following activities and areas of collaboration:
- Pre-approved course packages for semester exchanges at bachelor, master and PhD levels
- Funding at least one student rocket per year
- Research project opportunities for graduate-level students
- Annual PhD schools/ scientific workshops
- Setting up a joint international space degree
- Establishing a CaNoSat student satellite program
Transatlantic Science Week
The purpose of the annual Transatlantic Science Week (TSW) is to promote enhanced cooperation between Canadian, American and Norwegian stakeholders in research, innovation and higher education. TSW is an arena where different stakeholders can meet with the purpose of developing long-term collaborations or partnerships. The conference also hopes to strengthen the linkages that currently exist between the research and education domains. Finally, TSW also provides an excellent arena for dialogue between the research communities and policymakers.
The Royal Norwegian Embassies in Ottawa and Washington, DC are co-organizers of TSW this year. The conference is made possible by generous contributions from the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, the Research Council of Norway, the National Research Council Canada, and the University of Toronto.
This year’s TSW marks the13th annual conference and will focus on challenges and opportunities in the Arctic, with a special look at Arctic societies, sustainability and safety.