Dubai: The UAE Space Agency has begun working together with Krypto Labs — an Abu Dhabi-based innovation hub and incubator — to accelerate the growth of three start-ups to transform their innovative ideas into commercially viable and scalable market-ready products.

The space agency on Wednesday signed an Agreement of Funding with Krypto Labs at the former’s headquarters.

The GeoTech Innovation Programme includes the selection of high potential innovators and entrepreneurs in three service areas: Urban and Rural Land Management (URM), Disaster and Crisis Management (DCM) and Coastal Border Security (CBS).

Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency; Dr Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Director-General of the UAE Space Agency signed the agreement with Dr Saleh Al Hashemi, managing director of Krypto Labs and CEO, Algorythma.

Dr Al Falasi said the agreement falls under the agency’s mandate and commitment to support local talents, cultivate their skills and encourage innovation. “It is consistent with our strategic objectives to develop the next generation of space sector pioneers and local space exploration capabilities, and support scientific research,” the minister said.

An initial online application phase of the programme will be published by the end of September and be open for six weeks. A judging panel consisting of UAE Space Agency experts, Krypto Labs professionals and academic specialists will collaborate in evaluating and selecting the received applications.

The panel of judges will choose up to three winning start-ups, who will be awarded the unique opportunity to take part in Krypto Labs’ unique incubation programme.

The GeoTech Innovation Programme will end in a final pitch event, where the winning start-ups will be invited to take the floor and showcase their products.

The final event will include a ‘Made in UAE’ exhibition and ‘Capacity Building’ training workshops, where entrepreneurs who are interested in the programme, but not selected among the top three finalists, will be held. “With the space sector poised to contribute to more and more socioeconomic development, the GeoTech Innovation me will play a significant role in identifying, facilitating and advancing local entrepreneurial efforts in a range of fields related to space,” Dr Al Ahbabi said.