The United Arab Emirates Space Agency and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have signed a Statement of Strategic Intent and Cooperation that is designed to support the creation of a vibrant, sustainable, competitive and innovative space sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The United Arab Emirates Space Agency is responsible for the development of policies, strategies and locations related to the space sector. The Space Agency works closely with research institutes, industry and fellow government agencies to build relevant space capabilities and support the long-term growth of the space ecosystem in the UAE.
AWS will collaborate with the Space Agency and related UAE government space organizations on the following three initiatives, designed to support the Space Agency’s long-term development goals:
- The Emirati – AWS Space Industry Development Program (EASID): This initiative focuses both on the growth of existing commercial space organizations as well as the promotion of an environment conducive to new entrants like space startups. This initiative is set to provide them access to AWS Activate and the AWS Founders program, both designed to provide startups with AWS credit, technical training, and business support. In addition, this initiative will provide UAE commercial companies, startups, universities, and civil and government entities access to AWS experts to help develop new products, services, or activities in the relevant areas of satellite technology, space infrastructure development and safety and security.
- The Emirati – AWS Talent for Space Program (EATS): This initiative includes outreach and training designed to support talent development for the space industry in the UAE, particularly with regards to cloud computing and big data. Specifically, AWS will offer related research institutions the ready-to-teach Cloud Career Pathways curriculum; professional AWS training through She Builds CloudU, a flexible, community-based learning program for women; and access to additional training and mentoring programs and workshops.
- The Emirati – AWS Open Data Sponsorship Program: This initiative will encourage collaboration among the UAE space and research community through the sharing of data sets on AWS related to space data-driven initiatives such as space surveillance and space situational awareness programs.,,
“We have talented national cadres who are capable of innovation and creativity to achieve the best results and continue the country’s march of achievement in the space sector,” said H.E. Ibrahim Al Qasim, deputy director general of the UAE Space Agency. “This agreement with Amazon Web Services comes as a part of our objectives and goals in providing our national talents, startups and SMEs with the best skills and learning programs, in addition to enabling companies working in this sector with the best applications and facilities.”
The UAE Space Agency is the first in the region to sign such an agreement with AWS. This agreement builds on AWS’s ongoing support of regional space endeavors, including the UAE's Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, whose Hope Probe is using AWS to analyze and share scientific data about the Martian atmosphere.
“This agreement focuses on providing government space organizations and young professionals the technical tools and resources they need to be successful for the long term,” said Clint Crosier, AWS aerospace and satellite director. “We look forward to working together on these initiatives as the UAE Space Agency continues to make important contributions to science and the global space industry.
“ This Statement of Strategic Intent is the latest step in AWS’s long-term investment in the Middle East and the latest in a series of similar agreements with space agencies and governments around the globe designed to support long-term aerospace industry and workforce development goals. AWS has been making investments in the region to serve our rapidly growing customer base, including some of the region’s leading and most innovative enterprises and startups. This year we announced that the AWS Middle East (UAE) Region is now open. We have a long history of working with customers in the UAE, with many having used our services from the early days of AWS, including some of the region’s leading and most innovative enterprises and startups,” Crosier concluded.
The new AWS Region in the UAE is the second Middle East region, with Bahrain having launched in 2019. The new UAE region gives customers in the UAE more choice and flexibility through local access to the most advanced cloud technologies, enabling them to store and process their data locally with the assurance that they retain complete ownership of their data and control over the location of their data.
AWS also released data highlighting the economic impact of the new Region. AWS estimates that the new AWS Middle East (UAE) Region will support nearly 6,000 full-time jobs annually at external vendors through investments of AED 20.1 billion (US $5.47 billion), with an estimated economic impact on the UAE’s GDP of AED 41 billion (US $11.16 billion) over the next 15 years.
In addition to infrastructure, AWS continues to make investments in education and training initiatives, including AWS Educate, and supports startup enablement programs like AWS Activate to support the UAE’s digital transformation and economic development plans. We also continue to grow our regional teams to support our customers, and now have offices in Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.