Rabat (UNA-OIC) – The Global Space Science Forum (GSSF), held in cooperation between the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) and the US Space Foundation, concluded its proceedings on Tuesday, November 2.
The GSSF issued a set of practical recommendations to strengthen international partnership and cooperation to bridge the gap between the developed and developing countries in the field of space science and encourage countries of the Islamic world to invest in space science applications and related industries.
The forum, held under the theme “Exploring the Space Science Future – Together” on November 1-2, both at the ICESCO headquarters, in Rabat, and via videoconference, saw the participation of officials, experts, and policymakers in the field of space as well as astronauts.
The participants unanimously stressed the need to strengthen human resources to carry out space exploration research and studies and provide the necessary financial resources to develop the appropriate infrastructures. They also focused on the need to set incentives for youth and women in the Islamic world to ensure their integration into space science and technology by providing support for start-ups and incubators and raising awareness about the importance of space science in improving life on planet Earth.
On the second day, the forum witnessed a series of scientific sessions and discussions, where participants reviewed the most prominent milestones of space science history in several countries of the Islamic world, the areas of cooperation to develop scientific research and innovation to achieve sustainable development, and the importance of space sciences to have access to data and information to respond to humanitarian disasters and reduce poverty.
The first session tackled ways to strengthen the partnership between academic and industrial sectors in space science applications, highlighting the attention that Muslims have paid, throughout history, to space science and innovation.
The participants stressed the importance of the openness of academic institutions and researchers to space technology and the need to establish partnerships and involve the private sector to capitalize on the advantages of space science, strengthen the innovative capacities of young people and urge all countries to integrate into the field of space science and its applications to break the monopoly of space knowledge.
The second session focused on developing space technology to ensure food security, develop agriculture and reduce poverty. The participants reviewed the salient programs of the international institutions for using space technology to collect information and data to achieve sustainable development through monitoring crops and developing navigation, stressing the need to join forces and engage in research activities to exchange experiences, policies and strategies in the field of space science and technology.
In the third session, the participants explored the relationship between communications systems, cybersecurity, and space sciences. They reviewed the experiences of the Egyptian Space Agency (EgSA) and Oukaimeden Observatory in Morocco as well as the field experiences in aeronautical engineering of the International University of Rabat.
The participants also explored cybersecurity challenges in light of space science development and the new prospects for space science and its applications to improve life on Earth and encourage innovation.
At the end of the forum, the participants exchanged ideas and opinions, in a roundtable discussion, on the role of ICESCO Member States’ space agencies to help spread awareness about space technology.