Photo Credit: Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology
Israel’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Orit Farkash HaCohen and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister for Advanced Technology Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri

Israel’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Orit Farkash HaCohen and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister for Advanced Technology Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri signed a historic agreement on Wednesday at the 2021 world Expo in Dubai for the cooperation in Space projects.

The UAE Space Agency has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Israel Space Agency to enhance cooperation in scientific research, space exploration, and knowledge transfer to “accelerate economic growth and human progress.”

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The agreement lays the framework for a strategic partnership that will strengthen efforts to gather and analyze scientific space data. Both parties will enhance collaboration and cooperation in a wide range of strategic fields, including exploration, research, data analysis, education and more.

The UAE will exchange research, and develop scientific instruments for Israel’s Beresheet-2 mission to land a spacecraft on the Moon by 2024 as part of the landmark agreement.

Universities in Israel and the UAE will also launch collaborative research projects. They include exploring the red tide phenomenon, analyzing red palm weevil infestation which threatens date palm cultivation, and mapping aerosols – solid and liquid particles suspended in the atmosphere. Vegetation and environmental data gathered by the Venus microsatellite used by the Israel Space Agency and the French Space Agency will also be shared with the UAE.

Israel has witnessed near-unprecedented developments in space research, advanced technologies and the expansion of its private sector in recent decades, including becoming the eighth country in the world to successfully launch and position satellites in space.

The Emirates’ space program started in 2006 with a knowledge transfer program that saw Emirati engineers working with partners around the world to develop the UAE’s spacecraft design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities, launching a series of earth observation satellites designed and built by Emirati engineers.

Farkash-Hacohen stated that “governments sign agreements but people and collaborations are the ones that truly make peace.”

“Israel is an international leader in the worlds of research, space, science and hi-tech. I share Minister Al Amiri’s vision of harnessing science and space not only as an economic stimulus but also for bringing hearts together and educating our next generation.”

Al Amiri noted that “sharing knowledge and expertise is a key part of the UAE’s vision to create an attractive and competitive national space industry. If you look at the most successful global space programs in history, the common denominator is collaboration.”

“Israel has a globally recognized space industry and developing bilateral and multilateral partnerships has never been so important as we embrace a new era of space exploration,” she added.

This is the 15th agreement signed between Israel and the UAE in a bit more than a year’s time since the signing of the Abraham Accords.

Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain signed a historic peace agreement at the White House in September 2020, the first agreement to be signed between Israel and an Arab country in 25 years.

The UAE is the first major Arab state to recognize Israel since the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty was signed in October 1994.

Announced on August 13, the Abraham Accords is the first between a Gulf state and Israel and is expected to lead to similar agreements with other Arab countries, possibly Oman or Saudi Arabia.

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