UAE Space Agency Unveils Strategy, Signs Education Agreement With Orbital ATK

UAE_Space_Agency_LogoHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, presided over the launch of the UAE Space Agency’s strategic plan on Monday. Emirates News Agency reports:

“The establishment of a fully-fledged space sector in the UAE, with all necessary human resources, infrastructure and scientific research, is a primary national objective. It requires everyone involved to work as one team to establish the UAE’s leadership in this sector and to build advanced scientific capabilities in the space domain,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said.

“The Hope Probe and the UAE Space Agency are milestones for the development of the UAE. Today, we are at the dawn of a new era that holds the promise of ambitious advancements; an era in which we build our national capacity and establish a new international standing for the UAE in the space sector. Building a new space sector that is integrated and comprehensive is a value-added step for our national economy, technical knowledge, human capital, and international reputation”, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said….

His Highness also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and Orbital ATK Inc. The agreement between the three entities, with coordination and oversight from the UAE Space Agency, marks the launch of a joint venture to introduce a graduate degree programme in Advanced Space Science for the first time in the Middle East. The programme, which enjoys the support of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will allow students to earn a Master’s Degree in Engineering with a Focus on Space Systems and Technology.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid observed the first-ever Airbus Little Engineer Space Workshop. More than 100 students from UAE public and private schools took part in the educational workshop, organised by the UAE Space Agency in cooperation with Airbus Group.

Yahsat is a private joint stock satellite company that is fully owned by Mubadala, the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government. The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology is a graduate level research university located in Abu Dhabi.

According to an UAE Space Agency background paper, the agency’s has four strategic objectives focused on diversifying the emirate’s economy.

The first strategic objective is to organise and develop the space sector ensuring that it meets international standards and serves national interests. The Agency aims to contribute to the diversification of the national economy and support sustainable development. This objective will be achieved through two initiatives including the creation of a legal and regulatory framework for the sector space. This will define the powers that fall under the Agency’s control. The second initiative is the development and guidance of the space sector in the UAE.

The preparation of a proposal for space policy space and law, the development of legislative regulations for the sector, and the preparation of an evaluation study of the industry will all be key elements of the first strategic objective. This program also includes the preparation of the UAE’s innovation strategy in the field of space and the development of a national plan for human capital development within the sector.

The second strategic objective is to promote and support the efforts of scientific research and innovation. This will be achieved through five services that will be provided by the Agency. These include the establishment of an internal organisational unit that will manage and coordinate space projects, supporting and financing the Mars mission, supporting existing space projects in the UAE, the establishment of the Scientific Advisory Committee to advise on national space programs and entering into partnerships with local and international agencies that can provide the necessary knowledge and expertise to support the UAE space sector.

The third strategic objective is to attract and prepare national cadres to become pioneers in the field of space science. This will involve the development of national talent, as well as increasing public awareness of the space industry. Training and scholarship programs will look to nurture national talent in local and international universities specializing in science and space-related studies. A strategic public relations and communications strategy will be key to this objective as well as digital communications which will help to strengthen public support for the Agency’s programs.

The fourth strategic objective is focused on ensuring that all the Agency’s services are in accordance with worldwide quality, efficiency and transparency standards. This will be achieved through the creation of an internal organizational unit that will manage and coordinate the agency projects, as well as the development of institutional performance systems. In addition, the fourth objective includes the preparation of an employment strategy and determining the Agency’s Emiratisation rate.