UAE Space Agency launches satellite challenge as part of the UAE Hackathon 2020

03 February 2020

The UAE Space Agency is launching the "Satellite Challenge" in line with the UAE Innovation Month, as part of its participation in the "UAE Hackathon 2020 - Data for Happiness and Wellbeing". The UAE Hackathon is organized by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), in collaboration with the National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing

The Satellite Challenge aims to introduce society to the stages for manufacturing and launching satellites, by encouraging them to participate in the introduction and development of innovative solutions, from the initial design of the satellite to launching the satellite. The challenge seeks to motivate participants to devise distinct methods and ideas to provide data about satellites, whether through applications, games or innovative technical solutions provided by the participants during the challenge.

His Excellency Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, said: “Our participation in the UAE Hackathon confirms the Agency's keenness to participate in events and initiatives that promote a culture of innovation among members of society, encouraging them to adopt its innovative practices across various sectors, including the space sector. The challenge comes in line with our strategic goals aimed at raising the community's awareness about the space sector and space sciences, and working to organize and develop the national space sector to contribute to supporting a sustainable national economy.”

“Previous editions of the UAE Hackathon witnessed a remarkable interaction from participants. This year we aim to provide contestants with the opportunity to take up the challenge and take part in enhancing competencies, disseminating knowledge and innovation, and shaping the future of data, particularly space data,” added His Excellency Dr. Eng. Al Ahbabi.

Eng. Nasser bin Hammad, Chief Innovation Officer of the UAE Space Agency, said: "We will turn the challenge into a platform that encourages participants in the UAE Hackathon 2020 to leverage their innovative ideas and come up with outreaching solutions that contribute to raising awareness and knowledge about the space sector and satellites.”

Additionally, Bin Hammad highlighted the agency's efforts in supporting innovation, through the launch and implementation of many programs and initiatives that promote and consolidate innovation in the corporate work scene, in line with government efforts to create a favorable creative thinking environment.

Taking place over four weeks, the 3rd edition of the UAE Hackathon will be held at Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi between 3-5 February; American University of Sharjah between 9-11 February; Ajman University between 10-12 February; Umm Al Quwain Cultural Center between 11-13 Feb February; American University of Ras Al Khaimah, between 16-18 February; University of Science & Technology of Fujairah between 18-20 February; and ar Zayed University between 24 -26 February 2020.

Since its inception, the UAE Space Agency - in cooperation with the relevant innovation-centered entities across the UAE and in line with the Government Accelerators Program “Ghadan 21”, aimed at transforming Abu Dhabi into a global innovation hub - has been keen to adopt and launch various scientific initiatives and programs that contribute to spreading the culture of innovation and inspiring all society members. Through its initiatives, the Agency aims to target young people and encourage them to share their creative ideas, and turn them into a reality serving the national space sector.

The agency recently cooperated with Krypto Labs to launch the UAE NewSpace Innovation Program, aimed at boosting the growth of companies in the private spaceflight sector. Selected applicants will be mentored by global space experts and other professionals who will help them cultivate their business creation, marketing, and sales skills. Moreover, students, entrepreneurs and startups will have the opportunity to secure the necessary funding to transform their emerging investments into viable market products.