WAM UAE Space Agency signs agreement with Amazon Web Services-1670424878528
The UAE Space Agency and Amazon Web Services (AWS) officials during the signing ceremony of an agreement to support the space sector in the UAE. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: A new agreement between the UAE Space Agency and Amazon Web Services (AWS) will support the creation of a vibrant and sustainable space sector in the UAE, the UAE Space Agency said on Wednesday.

The UAE Space Agency is responsible for the development of policies, strategies, and places related to the space sector. It works closely with research institutes, industry, and fellow government agencies to build relevant space capabilities and support the long-term growth of the space ecosystem in the country.

Through this cooperation, the AWS will collaborate with the UAE Space Agency and related UAE government space organisations and institutions on three specific initiatives, namely The Space Industry Development Programme, the Talent for Space Programme, and the Open Data Sponsorship Programme.

Commercial space

The Space Industry Development Programme focuses on the growth of existing commercial space organisations, as well as the promotion of an environment conducive to new entrants like space start-ups. This initiative is set to provide them access to AWS Activate and the AWS Founders program, which supplied start-ups with AWS credits, technical training, and business support. In addition, this initiative will provide UAE commercial companies, start-ups, universities, and civil and government entities access to AWS experts.

The Talent for Space Programme, on the other hand, includes outreach and training designed to support talent development for the space industry in the UAE, particularly in the areas of cloud computing and big data. Specifically, AWS will offer related research institutions with the ready-to-teach Cloud Career Pathways curriculum.

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Open Data

The Open Data Sponsorship Programme will meanwhile encourage collaboration among the UAE space and research community through the sharing of data sets on AWS that are related to space data-driven initiatives, such as space surveillance and space situational awareness programs.

Ibrahim Al Qasim, deputy director general of the UAE Space Agency, stressed the importance that the UAE Space Agency attaches to international cooperation between the public and private sectors in the field of space. Space is the next frontier of business growth set to propel the national economy for the next 50 years. The strategic intent agreement will support to create a competitive private sector, build national capabilities, promote public-private partnerships, boost R&D and encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship.

“We have talented national cadres who are capable of innovation and creativity to achieve the best results and continue the country’s march of achievement in the space sector. This agreement with Amazon Web Services comes as a part of our objectives and goals in provide our national talents, start-ups and SME’s with best skills and learning programs, in addition to enable companies working in this sector with best applications and facilities,” Al Qasim said.

Technical tools

“This agreement focuses on providing commercial and public space companies, and young professionals the technical tools and resources they need to be successful for the long term. We look forward to working together on these initiatives as the UAE Space Agency continues to make important contributions to science and the global space industry and support the growth of the space sector,” said Wojciech Bajda, director of public sector Middle East and Africa at Amazon Web Services, Inc.

“This year we announced that the AWS Middle East (UAE) Region is now open. We have a long history of working with customers in the UAE, with many having used our services from the early days of AWS, including some of the region’s leading and most innovative enterprises and start-ups,” Bajda said.

More choices

The new region give customers in the UAE more choice and flexibility through local access to the most advanced cloud technologies, enabling them to store and process their data locally with the assurance that they retain complete ownership of their data and control over the location of their data.

AWS also released data highlighting the economic impact of the new region. AWS estimates that the new AWS Middle East (UAE) Region will support nearly 6,000 full-time jobs annually at external vendors through investment of Dh20.1 billion, with an estimated economic impact on the UAE’s GDP of Dh41 billion over the next 15 years.