Mr Kennedy has worked in both government and industry sectors, his most recent position prior to joining GIAC being assistant deputy minister with the Alberta Ministry of Forestry, Lands and Wildlife.
President, GIAC, Ottawa, Canada
Ed Kennedy is the president of the Geomatics Industry Association of Canada (GIAC).
Mr Kennedy has worked in both government and industry sectors, his most recent position prior to joining GIAC being assistant deputy minister with the Alberta Ministry of Forestry, Lands and Wildlife. Mr Kennedy is an ex-president of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics, and has served on a number of advisory boards to government and the academic sector. Under his dynamic leadership, GIAC has made a mark in conducting promotional, educational and advocacy activities to assist its members to develop new business in Canada and around the world and undertakes a range of initiatives to improve the international competitiveness of the industry.
- When did GIAC form? What factors led to the formation of GIAC?
The Geomatics Industry Association of Canada (GIAC) was formed in 1961, under the name Canadian Association of Aerial Surveyors. The Association was formed originally by a small group of aerial surveying and mapping service companies to lobby the federal government to contract-out air photo and photogrammetric mapping work to industry. The organisation evolved to also take on an international business development role, which was further strengthened in 1987, when the name was changed to GIAC and the membership scope was expanded to encompass surveying, mapping, remote sensing and GIS companies. Since 1987, membership has grown from 30 to 90 Member Firms and includes both technology and service companies.
- What has been acheived by GIAC for the Canadian Geomatics Industry, which you feel made the difference for the industry?
GIAC has made a number of accomplishments over its more than 40 year history that have had a positive impact on the Canadian geomatics industry. The Association has been successful in raising the profile of the industry at home and abroad, and has been an effective advocate of industry interests with governments in Canada. Specific advocacy results have included helping to achieve funding support for major new programs such as spatial data infrastructure development – at the federal government level with the GeoConnections program and at the provincial level, for example, with the Land Information Ontario program and convincing government to remove price and reuse restrictions on public sector geospatial data. GIAC has also helped to generate new export business for its members through the preparation of market assessment reports on key target markets, the organisation of business missions, and the formation of industry consortia to bid on majoe international projects.
- What is the general profile of members of GIAC?
GIAC membership spans the types of businesses in the Canadian geomatics industry, including the range of company sizes, technologies and services offered and geographic market focus. While most of the large geomatics firms are members, our membership also includes many small and medium size firms. Most of the Member Firms have an international market orientation and are active at the national level in Canada.
- GIAC being the nodal agency between the industry and government, there must be a large numbers of things on the agenda of GIAC. Which amongst these is of prime importance for GIAC in the current scenario?
GIAC’s current priorities are: establishing a new subsidiary organisation, the International Project Development Centre, to develop international projects, secure project funding, and form Canadian executing teams removing all policy impediments to access to and use of public sector geospatial data providing private sector input to government and academic programs through membership in key governance bodies such as the GeoConnections Management Board, the Canadian Space Agency Advisory Council, and the GEOIDE Research Network Board of Directors working in partnership with key government agencies and other industry stakeholders to increase innovation in the Canadian geomatics sector addressing key issues related to the supply of qualified human resources to the geomatics sector and continuing professional development of existing staff.
- What has been the growth rate of geomatics industry in Canada? What role is being played by GIAC in strengthening the growth rate?
Annual sales growth for the Canadian industry has been averaging between 5 and 10% over the past ten years. The priorities outlined earlier are targeted at strengthening the industry’s competitiveness and growth potential.
- Could you tell us something about IPDC and it’s relationship with GIAC, objective and role it will play for the geomatics industry in Canada?
GIAC plans to launch the International Project Development Centre (IPDC) in fall 2002 in partnership with another industry organisation, the Canadian Centre for Marine Communications (CCMC). IPDC will be a not-for-profit corporation, jointly owned by GIAC and CCMC, which will take on the Association’s international business development role. IPDC’s role will be to work in partnership with Canadian government and industry players to develop geomatics projects in foreign countries which are aligned with Canadian industry strengths. Once projects are well defined and financed, IPDC will form teams of Canadian companies, which may include Canadian government agencies and educational institutions and foreign organisations, to undertake these projects. The primary focus will be large multidisciplinary projects in less developed countries and countries in transition to market-based economies.
- As a MD of the IPDC what will be your objective?
My objective will be to generate new international projects for GIAC Member Firms, making Canada a world-leading exporter of geospatial information products and services, and make IPDC financially self-sufficient, through returns on new business generated, within five years.