The UAE Space Agency and Krypto Labs have announced the two winning teams of the GeoTech Innovation Programme. The winners were awarded funding of AED100,000 (U.S.$27,250.00) in cash and AED500,000 (U.S.$136,125.00) in kind, as well as the opportunity to accelerate and transform their innovative ideas into commercially viable and scalable market-ready products and services.
Working collectively and actively on mapping land deformation patterns in the UAE, Dr. Prasanth Marpu, Adham Alkhaja, Dr. Nikolaos Lisosis, and Dr. Prajowal Manandhar gained recognition as one of the two winning teams for proposing a business idea under the title “Ayn Astra” which offers four products making use of satellite data. The proposition aims to use advanced processing algorithms for interferometric data processing. It also offers land use and land cover mapping, and it will be mapping the health of palm trees/vegetation and tracking dune motion.
“Utopia: Strategic Land Management Powered by AI” is the title of the business idea proposed by winners Ali Al Hammadi and Ziang Zhang. Their idea aims to offer a consulting agency based on an artificial intelligence system that generates assessments of existing land use, forecasts of future use and needs for a set of development assumptions, and strategies for urban and rural land management, and development using big data.
The programme received over 80 applications from university professors, students, entrepreneurs and engineers, from private and public companies, universities, and educational institutes in the UAE.
Director-General of the UAE Space Agency, Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, said, “The UAE Space Agency’s support for this initiative is in line with its strategic goals of supporting the development of national capabilities and the growth of innovation-led entrepreneurial activity in the UAE space industry. With the space sector poised to contribute to more and more socio-economic development, the GeoTech Innovation Programme is already playing a significant role in identifying, facilitating and advancing local entrepreneurial efforts in a range of fields related to space.”
The initiative highlights the shared vision of both parties in providing a local platform that unveils Emirati talent and develops their skill-set in the field of space sciences and its applications in line with the sustainable development of the UAE.