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UAE’s Al Ain Space Research Centre Sets Future Direction in Space Science

Members of the UAE’s Space Research Centre’s Board of Trustees at the UAE University campus in Al Ain. Photograph courtesy of the UAE Space Agency.

The Space Research Centre Board of Trustees has held its first meeting at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) campus in Al Ain. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, and centered around discussions on the current and future plans for the Centre.

Board members also reviewed last year’s achievements and milestones, recent developments in the Centre’s initiatives and projects, as well as proposed future plans. They also discussed how best to enhance ongoing scientific research through projects and initiatives that also emphasize and benefit the UAE’s national space sector.

Dr. Al Ahbabi said, “The Space Research Centre will focus on supporting the scientific community and encouraging them to propose research projects. These projects will be designed to support the UAE’s efforts to explore space and contribute valuable knowledge to the international space science community.”

“The Centre is equipped with excellent facilities and capabilities, and it has access to the world-class infrastructure available at UAEU. The Centre also benefits from UAEU’s strong base of talented and motivated individuals, including its students, researchers, and scientists,” added Dr. Al Ahbabi.

UAEU Chancellor, Dr. Mohamed Albaili, said, “We are keen to support innovation and ambitious space sector projects. UAEU cooperates with leading entities in order to foster its research capacities and to develop future generations that can lead the UAE’s rapidly growing space sector.”

Meanwhile, Omar Mohammed Al Mahmoud, ICT Fund CEO, said, “The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) strives to build national scientific capabilities via our ICT Fund. We do this by funding scientific research centres and developing national human capital. These efforts fall within the framework of the UAE Vision 2021, as well as the objectives of the Fund when it comes to promoting the advancement of science and research.”

The Space Research Centre is the first of its kind in the region, and aims to support the UAE’s strategic plans in space science, exploration, and technology. It was established by the UAE Space Agency, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) represented by the ICT Fund, and UAEU. The Centre plays the role of an incubator of research, innovation, and development in space sciences. It focuses on various fields including satellite communications, remote sensing, space sciences and technology, and atmospheric studies.

The Board of Trustees of the Space Research Centre was established under the chairmanship of Dr. Al Ahbabi, and includes Dr. Mohamed Abdullah Albaili, UAEU Chancellor; Eng. Omar Mohammed Al Mahmoud, ICT Fund CEO; Masoud Sharif Mahmood, YahSat CEO; and Bader Sultan Al Olama, Head of Mubadala’s Aerospace Division.

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