NAT 200701 UAE NewSpace Innovation Programme announcement-1593589169280
Four winning teams will participate in the UAE NewSpace Innovation Programme. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The UAE Space Agency, in collaboration with Krypto Labs, announced on Monday the four winning teams that will participate in the UAE NewSpace Innovation Programme aimed at “positioning the country as a leader in space science and exporter of space solutions”.

The four winning projects include Compass Nadir, a sensor that uses the principles of chemistry to measure satellite position; Light Trapping Dynamic Photovoltaic Module for Space Applications, adaptive against any external and internal impacts such as soiling, shading and micro-cracks; SAR-Sat Arabia, a group of small satellites that will collect data for multiple sectors in the Mena region and the world; and Smart Navigation Systems, a platform that enhances satellite imageries through AI (artificial intelligence).

UAE NewSpace Innovation Programme, one of the main pillars of the Global Space Industry Accelerator (GSIA) initiative, is a three-month project worth Dh2 million that will incubate the space projects and graduate them into Emirati space startups.

The incubation will be conducted over four phases: Build the technical and business aspects of each project, validate business assumptions, grow customer interest, and focus on investment and growth strategies.

The programme received more than 150 applications from university professors, students, entrepreneurs and engineers, from private and public-sector companies, universities and educational institutes in the UAE.

Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi, director general of the UAE Space Agency, said: “During these challenging times, our main priority remains centred around backing innovative entrepreneurs, whose startups can contribute to catalysing the space industry’s growth.”

“Our objectives also remain unhindered, as we work towards building the local entrepreneurial activity in the space sector and providing practical solutions for a knowledge-based society under the UAE’s strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he underlined.

“All applications were identified to serve space and non-space industries’ interests and needs. We followed an international approach in filtering those applicants, based on practical and clear criteria that considered innovation and feasibility,” added Naser Al Rashedi, director of National Space Policy and Regulation at the UAE Space Agency and GSIA programme director.

Dr Saleh Al Hashemi, managing director of Krypto Labs, pointed out: “We endeavour towards supporting scientific research and local talents whose space exploration innovations will pave the way for positioning the UAE as a leader in space sciences and an exporter of space solutions.”