UAE Space Agency’s Arab Space Pioneers Program Trains Region’s Brightest Scientific Talent
- Seven future Arab space stars participate in training sessions covering space science, AI, robotics, technology, engineering, science, space entrepreneurship
- More than 37,000 applicants received after program launched last year to coincide with the Emirates Mars Mission
- Abdullah Al Shehhi: Engaging youth in possibilities of space is critical to developing a world-leading space sector
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 29 September 2021 – The Arab Space Pioneers Program – the first intensive scientific training scheme of its kind in the Arab World – is now under way, with seven future stars training with world-leading experts.
Seven students have been selected for the first phase of the seminal Arab space training program which attracted more than 37,000 applications. They are participating in an intensive training schedule covering everything from space science, artificial intelligence, technology and robotics to engineering and space entrepreneurship under the Talent Track phase which began last month.
The seven students represent the brightest space science talent in the Arab world, and they include: Muhammad Al-Sayed Subai, 18; Salah Al-Din Jalal, 18; and Nouran Al-Sayed, 17, from Egypt; Nouran Al-Youssef, 17 and Fatima Al-Abdullah, 17, from Saudi Arabia; Muhammad Zakaria, 16, from Algeria; and Muhammad Al-Joroub, 17, from Jordan.
The training sessions were conducted remotely and held in partnership with the Space Foundation, an American non-profit organization founded in 1983 which provides a gateway for information, education and collaboration for space exploration, science and activities related to space.
The Arab Space Pioneers Program was launched in July 2020 to coincide with the Emirates Mars Mission, which made history by becoming the first Arab space mission to explore Mars. Last month’s launch of the Talent Track phase represents a step forward in preparing the next generation of Arab space scientists and explorers to carry the torch of Arab space exploration into the future.
Abdulla Al Shehhi, Acting Head of Space Science & Technology, UAE Space Agency, said: “Engaging our talented youth in the possibilities of space is critical to developing a world-leading space sector.
As we pursue new horizons in this future industry, we must invest in the people, just as much as the advanced technologies we need to explore new frontiers. The Talent Track phase of the Arab Space Pioneers Program is an important step forward in this direction. It reflects the vision of the UAE’s leadership that any Emirati achievement and is an achievement for the Arab world, which can act as a force for good and source of inspiration for millions of people.”
He added: “The Talent Track sessions have been designed in line with international best practices to empower Arab students, motivate and inspire their passion for this sector. The Arab Space Pioneers Program embodies the role the UAE plays in investing in Arab minds. It aims to translate passion for space into a tangible contribution to the dynamic ecosystem we are building. This program also enhances Arab space cooperation, under the umbrella of the 14-member Arab Space Cooperation Group.”
For her part, Shelley Brunswick, Chief Operating Officer of the Space Foundation, said: “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the UAE Space Agency for supervising the innovative Arab Space Pioneers Program. It has attracted some of the best talents from the Arab world and inspired students to deepen their understanding of the space sector and develop new skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The UAE’s rapid development in all space-related fields is commendable and underscores its commitment to develop a knowledge and innovation-driven economy that also enhances cooperation with the US, the European Union and others.
Building a knowledge economy
The Arab Space Pioneers Program aims to nurture a distinguished scientific elite of Arab pioneers, hone scientific talents and enhance the capabilities of youth to prepare and train them in the field of space sciences and technologies. It will enable them to contribute their expertise and innovations to the sector for decades to come.
It provides an opportunity for talented students in the Arab world to learn more about space, science and technology – all of which greatly contributes to refining their skills, preparing them and directing them to enter this vital field.
The seven winners
The seven finalist students were selected following a rigorous evaluation process. Committees comprised of scientists, researchers and academics choose the most qualified hopefuls to join the Talent Track. Applications were subjected to screening and evaluation processes by specialized committees in accordance with the regulations of the program.
The conditions for selecting candidates to join the Talent Track included the candidates’ holding a scientific average score of 90 percent or above, active voluntary or scientific work, and a demonstrable passion for space.
The UAE Space Pioneers Program has three distinctive phases: the Talent Track, the Graduate Track and the Expert Track.