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Leveraging Industrial Cooperation to Benefit the UAE Space Industry

Offset projects aimed at developing the UAE Space Program will facilitate new technologies and innovations in AI and 4IR and will further inspire Emirati men and women to pursue and acquire the critical skills necessary for a robust and mature space industry.

The strategic and visionary decision to establish the UAE Space Agency via Royal Decree in 2014, by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will, I believe, ultimately prove to be one of the most important developments in the history of the United Arab Emirates.  

The US space industry, as an example, is mature and has benefited its citizens immeasurably by creating opportunities, inspiring ideas, generating jobs, innovations in manufacturing and new technologies for all industry sectors – everything from agriculture, to healthcare and beyond.  As the UAE Space Industry develops and grows, the UAE can expect to realize similar benefits.

And it has impacted the UAE…

A significant number of global aerospace and defense industry companies have benefited extensively from sales to the UAE and region.   Therefore, it would be useful to further explore how industrial cooperation obligations (offset) can be applied to further the aims and progress the UAE Space Industry. 

In partnership with international industry, offset projects could include Research and Development to address technology requirements and the eventual commercialization of the IP developed for space applications.  Projects could also be constructed around capacity building within the local supply chain as well as mentorship programs between global industry and UAE Academic Institutions to develop the curricula required to prepare young Emiratis to play an active role in the UAE Space Program, which will include AI development and implementation as well as new manufacturing processes and technologies as we enter into the 4th Industrial Revolution.  This will facilitate development of the human capital and technology innovations benefiting the entire UAE economy and enable a robust and mature defense and space industry.

The exploration of space is awe-inspiring.  And the UAE Space Program will inspire Emiratis, young and old, for years to come.   The Space Program will facilitate innovations for all industries and yield a return on investment beyond measure that will benefit future generations of Emiratis and potentially, humanity. And, there could be a substantial role for offset in further developing the UAE’s space program.

This article aims to stimulate conversations on how we can further utilize offset investment and industrial participation to benefit the UAE Space Industry and turn innovative vision into reality for the benefit of the nation.


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