Leading UAE based mobile satellite service operator, Thuraya Telecommunications organized a lecture and workshop at Lockheed Martin’s Center for Innovation and Security Solutions at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. The event was held for participants of the recently launched Generation Space: The Space Fundamentals Training Program by the UAE Space Agency and Mubadala.
The lecture, delivered by Amal Ezzeddine, Thuraya’s Senior Director for Government and Corporate Affairs, demonstrated the long term value of investing in satellite communication and its impact on saving and improving lives. Ezzeddine highlighted recent studies indicating that by 2022, the use of satellite communication will rapidly increase globally with a maximum growth expected from countries in the MENA region.
Participants were taken through a series of examples that shed light on Thuraya’s mission and purpose, and how it harnesses expertise and technology to deliver essential tools and improve connectivity for underserved communities that fall within its coverage area. Additionally, Ezzeddine cited recent examples of the crucial role satellite communication plays during crises and relief missions in the aftermath of natural disasters and emergency situations. She added that Thuraya has signed the United Nation’s Crises Connectivity Charter last year.
The lecture included a review of Thuraya’s strategy and how innovation is applied throughout its product development, business model and distribution channel plans. Using its innovation platform, Thuraya encourages employees, partners and developers to create solutions that serve various sectors by incorporating feedback from the market and looking at the needs and requirements of end users. One example is the current trend that is prompting some within the satellite industry to focus on addressing IoT, smart cities and M2M needs to serve humanity.
The session included a hands on workshop that encouraged participants to apply the concept of innovation creatively, and come up with satellite communication solutions relevant to different sectors, such as marine, defense and media. This resulted in an array of ideas and positive feedback proving that this group of Emirati engineers possess the required innovative skills and capabilities to achieve the program’s objectives.
Ezzeddine said, “At Thuraya, we understand the importance and value highly specialized local talent for the satellite industry. It is challenging to find, employ and sustain individuals who can deliver the right amount of innovation. This program to develop and nurture home grown talent is timely. We would like to thank the UAE Space Agency, Mubadala and Lockheed Martin for inviting us to play our part in launching the next generation of Emiratis, who will lead the nation’s space program in the coming years”.
Nabil Azar, Regional Director of Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems Company, said, “The new generation of young Emiratis is one of the main pillars for the development and progress of the UAE’s space program. It is important for them to understand and benefit from existing local expertise in the space and satellite sector. Therefore, we were happy to work with Thuraya, the UAE’s space sector pioneers in organizing this lecture. This collaboration allowed participants to rub shoulders with and benefit from professionals already working in the industry and inspired them to think creatively and innovatively.”
Earlier last month, and as part of the Generation Space program, Thuraya hosted participants at its Primary Gateway in Sharjah. There they enjoyed a guided tour by Sultan Al Mehrezi, director of system engineering and gateway development and Abdul Rahman Al Ameeri, director of satellite communications and control. The guests were shown the operations control center, and the antennas serving Thuraya’s satellites. They were also given a detailed presentation and lecture about the satellite communication industry and the sectors it serves. The presentation also included a brief about Thuraya’s network and portfolio of products and services since its inception.