Within two weeks of its launch, the Arab Space Pioneers drew an overwhelming 37,000 applications from creative talents, researchers and inventors across the Arab world.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the first-of-its-kind specialized training programme earlier in July in line with the UAE’s Hope probe launch to Mars in the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.
The programme, overseen by the UAE Space Agency, aims to build Arab expertise in space science and technologies and empower the region’s talents in the creative and scientific industry to practice their passion in space-related studies.
Registration is closed for the programme’s first round that attracted a whopping response two weeks after its launch. A specialized committee of scientists, researchers and thinkers will comprehensively evaluate applicants based on their qualifications and achievements in science and research and innovative skills that can be developed.
Egypt took the lead with 19,391 applications, followed by Iraq (6,447), Algeria (4,836), Morocco (3,107), UAE (692), Jordan (681), Palestine (422), Syria (406), Tunisia (370) and Saudi Arabia (361).
The Arab Space Pioneers recorded high engagement on social media platforms and academic forums across the Arab world. Its websitewww.arabstospace.com garnered record views and visits, reflecting the critical need of scientific training programmes that incubate Arab talents in the growing space sector.
His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Belhoul, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said the overwhelming response to the Arab Space Pioneers programme confirms the importance of such innovative initiatives that respond to Arab youth’s aspirations.
The programme, he said, reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to inspire, motivate and empower Arab youth to effectively lead the region’s scientific advancement. “Building youth capacities and talents reflects an investment in the growing vital sectors like space science and advanced technologies to increase contribution to the jops knowledge-based economies. This long-term investment will strengthen the overall development of the Arab world.”
He added, “The scientific momentum that the Arab Space Pioneers programme has created in its first round helps transform the underlying creative talents in the Arab world into on-ground scientific achievements.”
Participants in the Arab Space Pioneers programme will receive a number of benefits including a fully-covered three-year residency in the UAE, a world-class specialized training in space science and technology, an opportunity to build advanced satellites in the UAE and access to scholarships and other financial incentives. Joining the programme also increases the opportunity to join teams of Emirati researchers, engineers and experts in a number of space projects.
The intensive programme combines theorical and hands-on practical training by enabling participants to contribute to the UAE Space Agency’s present and future projects. On the long run, the programme aims to contribute to enriching the region’s growing space sector with a pool of young Arab experts and specialists equipped with the needed skills to lead in the new field.
UAE Space Agency
The UAE Space Agency was formed in 2014 to regulate and coordinate the UAE’s growing space sector by cultivating national expertise and establishing strategic partnerships in the industry. The Agency contributes to meeting the country’s objectives to diversify the economy and build a knowledge-based future, positioning the UAE as a main contributor to the regional and global space industry.
The Agency is assigned with developing space policies, strategies and plans, directing national space programmes and supporting research in theorical and practical fields. In partnership with relevant authorities locally and internationally, the Agency provides world-class opportunities in the space sector and works to establish and manage investment projects as economic opportunities, in addition to organizing conferences and forums to address issues related to the growing industry.