Education needed for 'space-preneurship' to take off in ME
The UAE space culture and economy lag due to its lack of experts in the field and infrastructure. (Al Bawaba/File)
Education of young children is crucial for developing a healthy culture of hope and inspiration that leads to space exploration and 'space-preneurship'.
Coined by Nader Sabry, a space tech entrepreneur and inventor of the space technology prayer mat, "space-preneurship" is an exciting new entrepreneurial lexicon.
Sabry, who is also the CEO and founder of TIMEZ5 Global Inc - a Canadian space technology certified company by Nasa's Space Foundation - said the scope for space technology transfer (transfer of technology from space programmes for civil applications) is tremendous.
"For example many of the technologies we use in our everyday life have been developed originally for space. Sunglasses, the computer mouse, quartz watches, shock absorption athletic shoes and GPS are just a few of these inventions plus the development of life-saving robotic arms capable of microsurgery," Sabry said.
Sabry stated that even though the UAE has all the makings of becoming part of the space economy, there are still several challenges that need to be addressed to develop the culture of hope and inspiration that leads to space exploration.
"The UAE still requires a lot of infrastructure and expertise from veterans in the field of space travel, science, and space technology transfer to fully develop a functional space-prenuership conducive environment," added Sabry.
For example, in the US, upcoming space technologists take expert advice of retired astronauts, veterans, and former scientists to learn more about space travel. "This helps American space enthusiasts triple the information and knowledge that they already have about the space environment," he added. However, in the case of the UAE, such expertise needs to be imported from countries with space exploration history, since it is not easily available in the country.
"The major challenge in addressing this gap lies in the fact that importing the expertise from countries with a space travel history is also highly improbable because veteran astronauts are highly incentivised to stay in their home country", he said.
However, Sabry strongly suggested that space education must be become a priority in schools, especially for young children. Sabry believes that even though every person in the planet can't go to space, does not mean that they cannot be part of space culture.
Space technology in prayer mat
TIMEZ5's initiative Get2space.com is designed to inspire 2 billion people to aspire to space seeking a greater good and global peace through space technology.
Sabry said: "TIMEZ5 path was more accidental than planned. We had been working with an ex-Nasa scientist for a number of years and our intention was very clear - to develop products using the best technology that would benefit Muslims."
He added: "We were exhilarated to become the 43rd company in Nasa's history to become a certified space technology company. That also made us the first Muslim innovation company to ever get recognised and work with Nasa."
The Dh1,100 prayer mat was developed after five years of R&D and an in-depth research into the science of biomechanics, physiology and ergonomics, which unlocked unique finding related to those who mediate regularly.
"We worked closely with the medical community globally reaching patients with issues that prevent the prayer process like knee replacements, sports injuries and arthritis," he added.
"I was initially inspired after seeing an old man trying to pray in physical pain. The man had a difficult time fulfilling his religious obligations due to the full-body motions involved in prayer," he said. Sabry stated that 52 per cent of Muslims have knee related issue. It's not related to prayer but poor ergonomics, bad lifestyle habits and excessive stress.
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