Winning or Losing in a slow economy: Panel at CATA "Innovation Nation" Celebration Gala tackles prosperity strategies
June 3, 2008

Ottawa, ON, June 3, 2008 -- With the recent announcement that Canada's economy has shrunk over the past quarter, the slow-down that businesses have felt for some time has become officially recognized. Strategies to position companies to survive -- and thrive -- will be the focus of an expert panel at the 23rd annual Gala Dinner of Canada's largest high-tech association: the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance).

"Our panels have become an important new resource and knowledge-map," said CATA President John Reid. "Last year we did breakthrough work on the barriers facing new entrepreneurs. This year's panel, combining experience with new leadership, will be just as fruitful for the 'elephant in the room' -- the stalling economy and how to deal with it.

The agenda for the Northern Light Gala includes many high-profile executives:

Host: Paul Brent, CTV
Keynote Speech: Paul Lewis, President and General Manager, Discovery Channel Canada
Panel Discussion: Robert Ashe, General Manager, BI and Performance Management, Cognos, an IBM Company
Rod Bryden, President & CEO, Plasco Energy Group
Dr. Brendan Quine, Northern Light
Innovation Award Winners
Northern Light Award: Presented by Dr. Brendan Quine, Northern Light, & John Pickett, ITWorld Canada,

New Award- Northern Light

A champion of Canadian creativity and innovation, CATA's keynote speaker, Paul Lewis, President and General Manager of Discovery Channel Canada, has been the driving force behind the acclaimed series' "Race To Mars", and "Mars Rising", a Canadian project that has been broadcast around the world to rave reviews and huge audiences.

Mr. Lewis's passion for space exploration fits perfectly with this year's Gala theme: Innovation and Etnrepreneurship. Northern Light is a real space program to push Canada into an exclusive global club shared by only two other nations -- landing a spacecraft on the surface of Mars. Northern Light was conceived by Dr. Brendan Quine, of York University, as a sophisticated made-in-Canada science payload that will be the first lander dedicated to checking for signs of life on Mars. Northern Light is a private sector initiative backed by a dozen Canadian universities and more than 50 Canadian scientists.

"The cooperative construction of Northern Light represents a virtue that can give Canadian companies a "collaborative edge," said Mr. Lewis. "At the Gala, we will be celebrating the Canadian companies that are the "best of the best" in advanced technology.

The Northern Light Award will be selected from CATA sector awards for:

  • Manufacturing
  • Health
  • Energy
  • Clean Technology
  • Security
  • Engineering
  • Outstanding Product Achievement (ICT)
  • Outstanding Product Achievement
  • Emerging Technology
  • Excellence in Science and Technology Reporting
  • Private Sector Innovation and/or Leadership in Advanced Technology
  • Public Sector Leadership in Advanced Technology
  • IT Strategic HR Management
  • Sara Kirke Award for Woman Entrepreneurship
  • CIO of the Year

++ Action Item: For registration and corporate table information, please contact Emily Boucher at or call us at 613-236-6550.

About Northern Light - Where The Sky's Not The Limit
Northern Light continues Canada's tradition of aerospace leadership. Northern Light embodies the spirit that made Canadian aerospace great: it is being driven by the public, academic and private sectors, working together. This Canadian lander and rover system will be a major contribution to international Mars exploration and will provide niche science using Canadian expertise. It features the cooperation of Canada's major universities and more than 50 renowned Canadian scientists. The mission's Principal Investigator is Dr. Brendan (Ben) Quine, who is a Director of Space Engineering at York University and Chief Technical Officer at Thoth Technology. For more information see: