Expo 2020 Dubai: Dh4 million funding offered for proposals on climate change, food security

Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency. – Wam
Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency. – Wam

Dubai - UAE Space Agency launches competition seeking innovative solutions to address crises.


Nandini Sircar

Published: Sat 23 Oct 2021, 6:33 PM

A new competition has been launched in the UAE offering up to Dh4 million in funding for next-generation proposals that’ll address climate change and food security.

The UAE Space Agency, in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), announced the launch during the Expo 2020 Dubai’s Space Week.

Two projects will be selected from the competition and they will each receive up to Dh2 million in funding, technical support and assistance from leading experts. Additionally, they will obtain help to secure commercial partnerships and reach customers.

Scientists, entrepreneurs, academics and innovators seeking to address some of humanity’s greatest challenges are invited to participate and accelerate the UAE’s knowledge-driven economy.

Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, said, “Expo 2020 Dubai represents a unique opportunity to galvanize the world around global challenges and catalyse collaboration for a brighter future. Today we are taking a big step forward in our commitment to avert environmental disaster, empower talent, promote the development of commercially viable services for space and encourage public-private partnerships.”

In addition to developing cutting-edge applications for the future economy, the program aims to enhance the competitiveness of the UAE space industry, encourage public-private partnerships, upskill talent and strengthen the national space ecosystem.

She added, “Our competition aims to find the best and brightest academics, entrepreneurs and scientists to create applications that tackle climate change or food security. We are seeking competitive proposals that are original, feasible, scalable and backed by meticulous research and analysis. We hope to boost private sector participation in the space sector and contribute to the UAE’s position as a regional hub for space innovation that supports economic growth and development for the next 50 years.”

The competition aims to find technically innovative ideas using data gathered from outer space to create services that support agricultural or environmental practices.

Ideas could range from using data to map and monitor greenhouse gas emissions to analyzing soil moisture levels to boost crop yields.

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, opined, “Climate change and food security are interlinked. Higher temperatures and extreme weather events have a devastating effect on global food systems. In turn, food systems are responsible for more than one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. To chart a sustainable future, we must address these challenges head on, which requires innovative solutions. We are proud to partner with the UAE Space Agency in launching the UAE Space Agency’s Space Analytics and Solutions (SAS) Program that will advance space science and expedite our journey towards a climate-resilient, food-secure world.”

“The competition highlights the role of innovation as a vehicle for solving some of the most pressing environmental concerns. We aim to build an enabling national scientific research ecosystem that will pave the way for a new generation of space scientists to actively contribute to a cleaner and better tomorrow”, she added.

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