THE Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) said on Tuesday that it has signed a research and development agreement with the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA), with a focus on employing space technology for disaster mobilization and food security.
PhilSA said it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UAESA on Dec. 5.
The MoU “promotes joint space research and development, capacity-building, people-to-people exchange, and space industry-building,” PhilSA Director General Joel Joseph S. Marciano, Jr. said in a statement.
“It is a pioneering agreement involving our countries and ushers Philippine-UAE relations into a new and exciting frontier,” he added.
He noted that the UAE has been undertaking groundbreaking and ambitious space missions, referring to the launch this week of the Rashid moon rover using the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
“These inspire us in our efforts to unlock the benefits of space and bring space capabilities to the fore in addressing present and future sustainability challenges we face on Earth. As we bring our peoples together in these endeavors, we can build a stronger foundation for our domestic space ecosystems,” Mr. Marciano said.
Areas of cooperation also include the application of data gathered from space to the study of climate change, disaster management, emergency response, food security, and agriculture.
Separately, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said it is helping young Filipinos pursue a career in space technology through a scholarship program together with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
“There is potential in developing young talent in space technology development to address disaster management, industry development, and other sustainable development challenges of emerging economies like the Philippines,” JICA said.
The program targets to graduate 20 students in the next five years from the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and Rwanda. — Arjay L. Balinbin