Guarding the galaxy: Dubai to host the World Space Risk Forum

Published October 11th, 2016 - 09:00 GMT
The theme for the conference is 'Unlocking business in space'. (Pexels)
The theme for the conference is 'Unlocking business in space'. (Pexels)

Global space business leaders will converge in Dubai for the fourth biennial World Space Risk Forum (WSRF) next month to understand and mitigate risks in the industry and share thoughts on promoting business development and exploration in space.

Over 400 leaders from different fields in the global space industry will attend the three-day event starting November 2. The theme for the conference is 'Unlocking business in space'.

The leading global forum for space development brings together satellite operators, manufacturers, launch providers, space agencies, risk managers, insurance brokers, underwriters, lawyers and capital providers.

This year, the forum has been further strengthened by partnerships with Euroconsult, a global consulting firm specialising in space markets, and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).

Laurent Lemaire, organising host of the WSRF and chairman and CEO of DIFC-based elseco, the world's largest space underwriting entity, said this year the conference agenda encompasses topics including manufacturing and design innovations, regulatory and legal trends and implications, cyber and space debris risks, access to capital and the impact of technology and new applications.

"Space is our tomorrow and holds the key to the continued evolution of mankind. It's not surprising that the UAE as a forward-thinking and pioneering nation has made a strategic bet to invest and grow the space sector. This is the fourth time that we will be holding the WSRF in Dubai and the conference has grown in significance and continued to innovate," said Lemaire.

Salem Al Marri, assistant director-general for scientific and technology affairs at MBRSC, said it is true that there are risks in the space sector, as with any other, but with a responsible approach, the rewards are there for all to see - in galvanising the next generations to think about science and maths, and in making breakthrough discoveries that could help us to sustain life on Earth for future generations.

"What we strive for, with forums such as the World Space Risk Forum here in Dubai, is to continue working on creating a sustainable framework for space activity that matches the requirements of the rapid growth of the sector," Al Marri said.

Selected keynote speakers include John Celli, president of SSL, who will discuss the forces that drive today's commercial satellite market; Dr Michael Menhart, chief economist of Munich Re, who will shed light on the global economic outlook impacting the industry; and Dr Hans Koenigsmann, vice-president of flight reliability at SpaceX.

WSRF 2016 chairman Chris Kunstadter said the forum's format lends itself to discussions on the threats and opportunities that the space industry faces from new technology and innovations. "The WSRF provides a platform where the best minds in the industry can frame these risks and their implications, and develop ways to mitigate them," he said.

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