Businesses will have chances to work closely and join in country’s ‘space race’
The UAE's private sector has a chance to cast their eyes high - prospects could open up for them in space.Image Credit: AFP
Dubai: Attracting private firms to the space sector can only happen through space exploration programmes, which will require quick advances in technological capabilities, according to Sarah Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of UAE Space Agency.
These programmes “allow us the ability to expand on scientific capabilities, but in parallel, advance in a short amount of time, the capabilities of designing and developing very complex technological systems,” said Al Amiri at the Space Business Forum at Expo 2020. The UAE, which plans to send a probe to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter in 2028, will tap the private sector to make it happen, said Al Amiri.
“We will work together with our private sector to provide that valuable know-how, experience and expertise, so that they can enter into the space race,” she added. The Space Business Forum, which opened today is part of the Expo’s Space Week, and will revolve around topics such as the UAE’s space vision, international cooperation through new coalitions, and partnerships in the space industry. It will also include a session where SMEs and startups can present their latest innovations.
In the past, space exploration has been about expanding the limits of humanity, but now, the focus has shifted to the economic value it can create. “How do you go about creating a direct space-economy value, and establish a sector that doesn’t exist in a country? Experience, capability and capacity are the first ingredients in this,” said Al Amiri.
For private sector participants looking to crack space, the Earth observation industry is an inexpensive gateway. “That sector allows companies to come in without owning any asset in space - starting costs are low because there’s ample data that could be utilized to produce products and services that don’t impact the space sector but rather impact other sectors,” said Al Amiri.
Commercial prospects in the space sector will only likely grow, as the industry is expected to hit a trillion-dollar valuation by 2040, as per Morgan Stanley estimates. “The space sector is a melting pot for research, education and innovation,” said Hamad Buamim, CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry. “We believe that there are many opportunities that lie in commercializing (certain) aspects of the space economy - the question is how do we do this and how can business, whether big or small, get involved?
“In a short span, the UAE has become an important player, and it’s exploring opportunities related to the space sector.”
Quelle: Gulf News