Dubai: The UAE’s space industry may become a key driver of economic growth over the next 50 years, the president of the UAE Space Agency said at Expo 2020 Dubai on Saturday.
Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, who is also Minister of State for Advanced Technologies, made her remarks during her opening speech at the âSpace Business Forumâ at the Expo.
She said the UAE Space Agency will work more closely with the private sector to ensure that startups, entrepreneurs and new businesses have the opportunity to enter the “space race.”
The planetary mission as a catalyst
Al Amiri said, âFrom the future of travel and the next frontier of business innovation to creating an environment that encourages sustainable growth, space represents the next frontier of innovation. Our mission to explore Venus and the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars will serve as a catalyst for progress and an opportunity for knowledge transfer to the private sector. “
She added, âThis will support the creation of new UAE aerospace companies and help grow a competitive and attractive ecosystem to consolidate the status of a global player in the UAE space industry. We will work hand in hand with the private sector to ensure the accessibility of the scientific and technical expertise of our interplanetary missions, while simultaneously creating a strong regulatory and commercial framework to consolidate our innovation-driven economy.
The forum welcomed business leaders, astronauts, cosmonauts, entrepreneurs, investors, innovators and government leaders from around the world to explore a central thematic question: “How do we safely explore new frontiers? and productive? “
allowed you to discuss issues such as the future of space travel, the next frontier of business innovation, the growing need to commercialize space applications and technologies, the use of satellites to monitor climate change and conservation, enable the space explorers of tomorrow and the role space innovation plays in our everyday lives.
Contest of 4 million dirhams
Also on Saturday, the United Arab Emirates Space Agency launched a new competition offering up to MAD 4 million in funding for next-generation proposals on climate change and food security. Scientists, entrepreneurs, academics and innovators seeking to tackle some of humanity’s greatest challenges are invited to participate and accelerate the UAE’s knowledge-based economy.
The competition was announced as part of the Space Analytics and Solutions (SAS) program, during Space Week, in partnership with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), which is also responsible for food and water security. .
Use space data
It aims to come up with technically feasible, scalable and innovative ideas using data collected in space to create services that support agricultural or environmental practices. This could include using data to map and monitor greenhouse gas emissions or analyzing soil moisture levels to increase crop yields.
Two projects will be selected for the competition. They will each receive up to MAD 2 million in funding, technical support, assistance from leading experts, and help secure business partnerships and reach customers. In addition to developing cutting-edge applications for the future economy, the program aims to improve the competitiveness of the UAE’s space industry, encourage public-private partnerships, develop talent and strengthen the space ecosystem. national.
In search of the brightest stars
Al Amiri said: âOur competition aims to find the best and brightest academics, entrepreneurs and scientists to create applications that fight climate change or food security. We seek competitive proposals that are original, achievable, scalable and supported by careful research and analysis.
Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: âWe are proud to partner with the United Arab Emirates Space Agency to launch the [SAS] program that will advance space science and accelerate our journey towards a climate resilient and food secure world. “
Proposals must be submitted by the deadline of January 15, 2022. The top six will be invited to pitch to a panel of experts in February, with the top two selected as winners. The competition will recognize proposals based on a variety of factors, including individuals’ professional and academic background, as well as the originality and viability of the idea.
Space Week is one of Expo’s 10 thematic weeks aimed at finding collaborative solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time. Taking place over the six months of Expo Dubai 2020, each focuses on specific issues, such as climate and biodiversity, health and wellness, urban and rural development, travel and connectivity.
High level interviews
Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates Space Agency held high-level bilateral talks at the Expo on Saturday with a delegation of senior government and business officials from the Republic of Estonia to accelerate collaboration and technology transfer and of space-related services.
Salem Butti Salem Al Qubaisi, Director General of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, met Kristi Talving, Deputy Secretary General for Business and Consumer Environment at the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications at the Estonian Pavilion .
Taking place on the sidelines of Space Week, the meeting explored the potential for greater collaboration in all areas related to space.
Al Qubais said: âEstonia and the United Arab Emirates have an important bilateral relationship that takes on a new dimension as we strengthen collaboration in all areas related to space. There are great opportunities for enhanced cooperation in areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, the fourth industrial revolution, space research, satellite production and the expansion of entrepreneurship and private enterprise. Our meeting provided a constructive platform to strengthen our common bonds as we create a competitive and innovation-driven economy for the next 50 years.
Estonia, a full member of the European Space Agency since 2015, has made a giant leap in the industry this year. On January 11, it was announced that Estonia would supply stereo cameras to Maxar Technologies for NASA’s Artemis lunar program. The cameras will provide an important part of a major new mission to return humans to the Moon in 2024 and one day establish a lunar colony.
The UAE Space Agency also held bilateral talks with the Hungarian delegation to the Expo to enhance cooperation in the growing global space industry by boosting space research and astronautical activities.
Al Qubaisi met with a high-ranking delegation of senior Hungarian officials, led by Dr Orsolya Ferencz, Ministerial Commissioner for Space Research at MOFA and Hungary Trade, to strengthen ties in space research, Earth monitoring , the use of technologies and the transfer of knowledge.
The meeting took place at the Hungarian Pavilion during Space Week. The two officials discussed a wide range of issues, including Hungary’s ambition to send an astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) by 2024, the European country’s plan to launch a science satellite in the space and develop an on-board measurement system to be installed on the ISS.
They also discussed the UAE’s new mission to explore Venus and the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars.
Al Qubaisi said the new mission will support the establishment of UAE aerospace companies, develop new talents and strengthen cooperation with global research centers as part of the UAE’s vision to promote growth and human progress. for the next 50 years.