The Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) emphasized the importance of technical cooperation in astronomy and related fields through its participation in the 10th Gulf Astronomy Convention held recently in Oman.
The event aimed at strengthening communication between astronomy experts in the GCC countries, and featured meetings, lectures by specialist researchers, workshops on astronomy and an exhibition. EIAST’s participation is in line with its efforts to promote a knowledge based economy and to strengthen the exchange of technical knowledge with the GCC countries.
His Excellency Mr Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General, EIAST, said: “The convention is a testament to the scientific renaissance in the Arab world which is reflected in the ongoing efforts to build a knowledge-based economy across the Arab world. We have witnessed several technological breakthroughs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, particularly in the field of nationalization in space industry and research on renewable energy sources. We must now move to the next phase of scientific research to further strengthen our knowledge base through technical collaboration.”
Al Mansoori said the GCC governments has been offering substantial support, especially in the transfer of knowledge, promotion of scientific research, rehabilitation of national cadres, and establishment of a knowledge-based economy. He also commended the efforts of the Sultanate of Oman in developing practical applications in astronomy.
The UAE is among the thought-leaders in the sector with EIAST launching DubaiSat-1 under the supervision of the UAE engineers and scientists. EIAST is continuing with feasibility studies and site surveys to determine the best location for the “Emirates Telescope” project, the first national astronomical telescope for the UAE.
The Emirates Telescope initiative is being undertaken in co-operation with the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and highlights the commitment of EIAST to promote the culture of advanced scientific research and technology innovation in the UAE and encourage national human resources to actively engage in advanced scientific fields.
Al Mansoori explained EIAST’s vision towards strengthening unified GCC work in the field of science and technology, which is based on five steps: the intention and desire to work together; building the political capital of linking technical development to future development plans, self-exploration and knowledge of capabilities; the need to develop policies and legislation on astronomy in the Arab countries and include it in the development plans and strategic objectives; and finally the need to enhance joint Arab action and develop plans to achieve common goals.