The UAE Space Agency announced its collaboration with the Abu Dhabi-based global innovation hub, Krypto Labs, to launch the UAE NewSpace Innovation Programme, which aims to maximise the growth of space technology start-ups with New Space, the rising private spaceflight industry.
The programme falls under the purview of the National Space Investment Promotion Plan, which aims to heighten the role of the space industry in contributing to the economy of the UAE. It is also in line with an MoU signed between the UAE Space Agency and Krypto Labs, which aims to increase innovation and investment in the space sector, drive a diversified UAE economy, and promote awareness through specialised initiatives that support space technology entrepreneurship.
Selected applicants will take part in a three-month incubation programme at the headquarters of Krypto Labs in Abu Dhabi, with access to the hub’s facilities. They will also have access to the innovation hub’s local and global network of investors, be mentored by global space experts, and develop their skills in business creation, marketing, and sales, among others. Applicants will also have the opportunity to secure funds to ensure their start-ups are prepared to enter the market.
Eligible applicants must present an innovative and original idea with a clear technical approach, which generates a feasible and scalable product. The teams must have at least one Emirati team member.
Regarding the programme, Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director-General of the UAE Space Agency, said, “The UAE NewSpace Innovation Programme invites students, entrepreneurs and start-ups to share their ground-breaking ideas and transform them into viable commercial products. This supports developing space technology as part of the UAE’s private spaceflight New Space sector, which aims to make space more accessible, affordable and commercial.”
Dr. Saleh Al Hashemi, Managing Director of Krypto Labs, noted, “By supporting innovators and young entrepreneurs, we aim to foster a spirit of originality and zest within start-ups to solve global challenges that keep the UAE on the frontier of the innovation map and elevate its position as a leader for innovation-focused businesses.”
Naser Al Rashedi, Director of the Space Policy and Legislation Department in the UAE Space Agency and Project Manager, added, “The programme aims to incubate and accelerate the growth of four start-ups that will play a major role in fostering a culture of interest for the space sciences in the UAE. This is in line with the Ghadan 21 development accelerator programme, which aims to transform the Emirate of Abu Dhabi into a global innovation hub. By February 2020, we aim to select high-skilled teams whose exceptional ideas will have the potential to push forward our vision towards a diversified economy.”
//WAM//Esraa Ismail//MOHD AAMIR//