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UAE Space Agency advisory committee conclude meetings in Abu Dhabi

Posted 24 May 2016 · Add Comment

The UAE Space Agency advisory committee concluded its meetings in Abu Dhabi today, with day two focusing on human development, educational capabilities, and attracting and inspiring youth to enter the space sector.

The committee discussed ways of raising awareness of the UAE space sector on a local and an international level, before discussing the educational aspects of the Agency’s initiatives and programmes. 

The committee members, which comprises an elite group of space experts and officials from around the globe, provided their opinions on these initiatives, and the means and standards to choose the best international universities and institutions that the Space Agency should work with, including the provision of internships and scholarships. 

Dr Khalifa Al Romaithi, chairman of UAE Space Agency, said: “The second meeting of the UAE Space Agency advisory committee was a perfect platform to learn and take advantage of the wide knowledge and experience the committee members possesses, as their insights play an important role in developing the Agency’s programmes on a legislative, organisational and educational level, as well as the space programmes and missions, and the “Hope Probe” Mars project.” 

Sir Martin Sweeting, director general of the Surrey Space Centre, who is part of the committee, said: “I was very impressed by the rigorous and careful analysis of all the issues and the process by which the Space Agency is developing its programme. I felt that there was a proper breakdown of options, strategies, and objectives. The key is learning how to prioritize actions, a long-term road map is very important  but then you have to prioritize what you can do with the resources available. The discussions were really quite wide ranging and it was good to hear different viewpoints from experts coming from a range of different backgrounds, countries, and experiences. The real advantage here in the UAE is that they are starting with a blank sheet of paper, so they get to choose the best practices and the best actions from what everybody else has done, hopefully making improvements along the way. 

Jean-Jacques Dordain, former director general of the European Space Agency (ESA), added: “The meeting was very useful because each side has learned something, which is good because a one-way conversation is not helpful. We hope that our UAE colleagues have benefited from our discussions, we have definitely learned from them. Beyond the technical exchange, the friendship is alive in this meeting and that is very important because I think the human aspect is always the most important.”

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