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Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre honours space technology startup winners of Innovation Challenge

The three winners of the MBRSC Innovation Challenge.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) honoured the three winners of GITEX Future Stars’ ‘Innovation Challenge’, which was held, from 14 to 17 October, in conjunction with GITEX Technology Week 2018. The ceremony was held at 10X area, in the presence of His Excellency Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General of the MBRSC. This comes within the framework of MBRSC’s efforts to promote innovation and encourage innovators. Equatorial Space Industries won first place, Cemvita Factory Inc ranked second and BRAQ Aerospace LLC was awarded third place at the Innovation Challenge.

Al Shaibani handed over a valuable financial prize to the winners. Equatorial Space Industries won first place, Cemvita Factory Inc ranked second, and BRAQ Aerospace LLC came third. This came after the eight shortlisted startups presented their projects that reached the final phase of the competition.

The jury from MBRSC followed a specific criteria in selecting the winners. The selection criteria included strength of the founding team, total addressable market, level of innovation, business case, and idea/technology falls within the MBRSC scope. This competition included the development of space and satellite systems, the development of systems analysis and application development, renewable energy technology, as well as the development of advanced systems to find the best innovative solutions to support the Mars 2117 Strategy.

Al Shaibani commended the efforts of the space technology startups participating in the competition. The ‘Innovation Challenge’ supports the National Innovation Strategy, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, which aims to make the UAE one of the most innovative countries in the world. The competition witnessed great response from local and international space technology companies.

Al Shaibani congratulated the winners of competition, which is the first of its kind in the UAE, to encourage entrepreneurs to invest in the space sector, and increase their contribution to the development of this sector by helping them implement their projects through innovative solutions and inspiring ideas on-ground.

Adnan Al Rais, Mars 2117 Programme Manager at MBRSC said: “Through the ‘Innovation Challenge’ and other pioneering initiatives, MBRSC offers significant privileges to companies that are still taking their first steps to introduce themselves and accelerate their growth, especially as we are talking about a highly competitive market based primarily on innovation and anticipating the future. Developing the space sector is dependent on the development of applications to cope with the rapid changes in this sector. It is necessary to adopt a new approach that engages startups in the global efforts to support the space industry, and maybe even allow these companies to lead the future of this sector”.

The ‘Innovation Challenge’ is part of the Mars 2117 Programme, and is funded by the ICT Development Fund of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

GITEX Future Stars is an important platform for more than 400 startups to showcase their business, attract investors, and meet key technology companies participating in other GITEX events. The event promotes business relationships, partnerships, and collaborations, by hosting over 700 entrepreneurs and investors, from 75 countries, and providing investment opportunities and capital projects, with an estimated  USD 11 billion in combined managed funds to the UAE as an attractive global investment destination. The event also includes challenging competitions on innovation.