New space pact with UAE to help Philippines build domestic ecosystem

New space pact with UAE to help Philippines build domestic ecosystem
Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn M. Quintana, left, poses with officials after signing a cooperation memorandum in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 5, 2022. (WAM)
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Updated 14 December 2022

New space pact with UAE to help Philippines build domestic ecosystem

New space pact with UAE to help Philippines build domestic ecosystem
  • PhilSA inked memorandum with UAE Space Agency during Abu Dhabi Space Debate
  • Collaboration to also help address challenges like climate change, emergency responses

MANILA: Cooperation with the UAE will help the Philippines build a stronger foundation for its domestic space ecosystem, a top official of the Philippine Space Agency has said following a recent agreement between the two countries promoting joint space research and industry building.

PhilSA inked a cooperation memorandum with the UAE Space Agency on Dec. 5 during the Abu Dhabi Space Debate, which gathered representatives from 47 international institutions and agencies in the Emirati capital to discuss space sustainability, accessibility and security.

“The MoU on space cooperation between PhilSA and UAESA promotes joint space research and development, capacity-building, people-to-people exchange and space industry-building,” PhilSA Director General Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano said in a statement to Arab News earlier this week.

“As we bring people together in these collaborative endeavors, we can build a stronger foundation for our domestic space ecosystems.”

Marciano said that the UAE “has been at the forefront of truly groundbreaking and ambitious missions in space,” as the Gulf state launched the first Arab-built lunar spacecraft over the weekend.

The Rashid Rover, designed by an entirely Emirati team from Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, was launched from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, US, to analyze plasma and lunar dust on the moon’s surface.

In 2020, the UAE successfully launched the Hope mission to Mars.

“These (missions) further inspire us in our efforts in the Philippines to unlock the benefits of space and bring space capabilities to the fore in addressing present, and future sustainability challenges we face on Earth,” Marciano said.

The space pact between the PhilSA and UAESA is a “pioneering agreement,” he added.

UAESA Director General Salem Butti Salem Al-Qubaisi, who signed the deal with Marciano, said at the time that the agreement would provide the scientific community with data and information “that serves humanity.”

He told Emirates News Agency: “The UAE Space Agency is committed to constructive international partnerships with various agencies to exchange experiences, which reflects positively on the development of the space sector in the country, through developing qualified talents and human resources that can consolidate the sustainability of the sector.”

The deal with the Philippines will help promote collaboration in applications that include not only space exploration, but also research, access to data, and its utilization for challenges such as climate change, disaster management, emergency response and agriculture.

“PhilSA believes it (the deal) will bolster stronger ties between the space agencies and maximize the opportunities and potential we can gain from our counterparts,” Marciano said.

“PhilSA and UAESA will benefit from joint conferences, workshops, knowledge-sharing activities on space science and technology applications, and the advancement of space education through student exchange programs and graduate studies.”