DUBAI -- The UAE Space Agency has announced the launch of the National Space Academy, with the support of the National Space Fund, on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow.

The Academy aligns with the UAE Space Agency’s long-term vision and strategic goals to promote sustainability of the national space programmes and foster human resource development.

The Academy aimed at enhancing young Emiratis’ expertise in space science and technology, adhering to the most rigorous international standards. By equipping these individuals with world-class knowledge and skills, the Academy seeks to empower them to make significant contributions to the thriving success of the UAE Space Programme.

The National Space Academy is poised to revolutionise acquiring and enriching space-related knowledge among Emirati youth. This pioneering initiative provides a unique environment fostering innovation by seamlessly integrating cutting-edge academic research practices and hands-on practical experience.

The academy strives to expedite knowledge transfer to aspiring professionals in the space industry through various workshops and activities.

The Academy will contribute to enhancing entrepreneurship, a key pillar of the UAE’s economic renaissance and comprehensive development. By creating more job opportunities to meet the growing demand for specialised jobs in the knowledge economy, transforming ideas and innovations into successful projects, and promoting innovation and competitiveness, the academy will contribute to supporting the UAE government’s objectives of growing a knowledge-based economy.

Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, said, “The AED3 billion National Space Fund was established to support the country’s space sector. It works under the umbrella of the UAE Space Agency towards finding solutions to finance and facilitate the development of space activities and the development of the UAE space sector.

"Emirati youth are our main force and drive in the comprehensive development renaissance, and they are the future leaders for achieving sustainability in the UAE’s space sector. By developing their skills through the National Space Academy, they can acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to work in the space industry to be pioneers in this field. Through this, we can achieve our ambitions for the future and utilise our skills and capabilities in space exploration and development.”

Al Amiri added, “The academy will reinforce the commitment to achieving scientific progress and sustainable development in our society, in addition to offering a unique model in converting theoretical knowledge to practical experiences, to qualify graduates to contribute to the national space sector effectively.”

Salem Butti Salem Al Qubaisi, Director-General of the UAE Space Agency, said, “We are delighted with the successful results and the wide participation in the space workshops, as this confirms the capabilities of Emirati youth to lead the space sector and support the local and international scientific community in the future with scientific expertise and exploration.”

Al Qubaisi added,“The National Space Academy will have a significant role in providing creative and talented Emirati youth with practical experience and encourage and inspire them to participate in national missions, projects, and initiatives in the future.”

Dr. Ray O. Johnson, CEO of the Technology Innovation Institute, said: “The space industry is unique and complex. It requires expertise, skills, and strategic cooperation to ensure its sustainability. Hence, we must strengthen cooperation between the academic sector and specialised companies to train young talents and enable them to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to work in this pioneering sector.”

Johnson added, “We are pleased that five Emirati engineers from TII participated in the first and second phases of the space workshops. We are also pleased with their sponsorship of the third phase, which will enable them to join the Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt (EMA), under the supervision of space mission experts.”

The academy will provide a holistic learning experience by offering a combination of theoretical and practical workshops focused on the intricacies of the space environment. Participants will gain a profound understanding of the fundamentals through engaging lectures, dynamic discussions, interactive sessions, and hands-on exploration experiences.

The academy will also facilitate a practical study of space hardware and meticulous planning for space mission scenarios. This includes in-depth insights into the engineering and design of space vehicles and missions while fostering teamwork and expertise through simulated space mission simulations. The academy ensures a well-rounded educational journey for its participants by encompassing theoretical knowledge and practical application.

The National Space Academy, slated to commence its training sessions in the first quarter of 2024, is a remarkable culmination of the three-phase space workshops initiated in January 2023. The workshops played a pivotal role in nurturing and honing the skills of ambitious Emirati participants, 51 in the first phase, 26 in the second phase, and 13 proceeded to the third phase.

Upon successful completion of performance evaluations and interviews, graduates of the space workshops had the unique opportunity to engage in a three-month space mission experience. They contributed to and collaborated on specific tasks and operations during this mission, gaining invaluable hands-on experience. Additionally, participants delved deeper into their chosen specialisations by undertaking research projects at the esteemed National Space Academy. Under the individual supervision and guidance of academics and space experts, they explored cutting-edge subjects within space studies.

As the strategic partner of the Dubai Airshow, the UAE Space Agency led the first participation of the space sector, joining the aviation and defense pillars of the exhibition. During the exhibition, which is being held until 17th November at Al Maktoum International Airport, the agency showcased key achievements, projects, and initiatives, and nurtured international strategic relations and partnerships in this vital sector.