© 2020 All rights reserved to Maaal Newspaper
Publisher: Maaal International Media Company
By: Dr. Nasser Alshareef
Saudi Arabia has announced its ambition to take the lead in sustainable space sector development among Middle East countries. This strategic move reflects the kingdom’s commitment to diversify its economy and invest in emerging industries beyond oil. The Saudi Arabian government has outlined a comprehensive plan to develop a sustainable space sector, which includes the establishment of a national space agency, the Saudi Space Authority. The authority will be responsible for coordinating and overseeing all space-related activities in the country, including satellite launches, space research, and exploration missions.
One of the key objectives of Saudi Arabia’s space sector development plan is to leverage space technology for sustainable development. The kingdom aims to utilize satellite data to address various challenges, such as monitoring climate change, managing natural resources, and enhancing disaster response capabilities. To achieve these goals, Saudi Arabia is actively seeking international partnerships and collaborations with leading space agencies and companies. The kingdom has already signed memorandums of understanding with countries like China Space Agency, Italian Space Agency (ASI), UK Space Agency and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to foster cooperation in space exploration and satellite technology.
SAUDI ARABIA HAS TAKEN SEVERAL INITIATIVES TO DEVELOP THE SUSTAINABLE SPACE SECTOR.
Following steps demonstrate Saudi Arabia’s commitment to building a sustainable and robust space sector, leveraging technology and international collaborations to drive economic growth and contribute to scientific advancements.
Establishment of the Saudi Space Authority: The Saudi government has established the Saudi Space Authority (SSA) as the national space agency responsible for overseeing and coordinating all space-related activities in the country. The SSA plays a crucial role in developing and implementing the kingdom’s space policies and strategies.
Investment in satellite technology: Saudi Arabia has made significant investments in satellite technology, including the manufacturing and launching of satellites. The country aims to leverage satellite data for various applications, such as climate monitoring, resource management, and disaster response.
International partnerships and collaborations: The kingdom has formed partnerships and collaborations with leading space agencies and countries worldwide. For example, Saudi Arabia has signed agreements with Russia and China to foster cooperation in space exploration, satellite technology, and research.
Development of local talent: Saudi Arabia is focused on developing a skilled workforce in the space sector. The country has established educational programs, research centers, and partnerships with international universities to train and educate students in space science, technology, and engineering.
Space research and exploration missions: Saudi Arabia has expressed its intention to engage in space research and exploration missions. The country aims to contribute to scientific advancements in areas like astronomy, astrophysics, and planetary science.
Sustainable development applications: The Saudi government is keen on utilizing space technology for sustainable development purposes. This includes using satellite data to monitor and manage climate change, natural resources, agriculture, and disaster response.
Investment and business opportunities: Saudi Arabia is actively promoting investment and business opportunities in the space sector. The country aims to attract domestic and international investors to participate in the development of space-related industries, including satellite manufacturing, launch services, and data analysis.
Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is investing in the development of local talent and capabilities in the space sector. The kingdom is establishing educational programs and research centers focused on space science and technology, aiming to nurture a skilled workforce that can contribute to the growth of the industry. The sustainable space sector development plan aligns with Saudi Arabia’s broader vision for economic diversification and the National Transformation Program, which seeks to reduce the kingdom’s dependence on oil and create a knowledge-based economy.
By positioning itself as a leader in the space sector, Saudi Arabia aims to not only drive technological advancements but also attract investment and create job opportunities in emerging fields related to space exploration, satellite manufacturing, and data analysis. Overall, Saudi Arabia’s commitment to sustainable space sector development signals its determination to embrace innovation, technology, and global collaboration to drive economic growth and contribute to the advancement of the Middle East region in the space domain.
Dr. Nasser Alshareef
Chair of Business Administration Department at Majmaah University