NSSA, in cooperation with Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT), one of the most prominent global pioneering companies in space affairs – providing earth observation services and transmitting space data – conducted a specialized workshop, entitled “Employing Space Science to Achieve Sustainable Development Objectives”. The workshop was held over two days 7th to 8th April 2021. More than 57 specialists from over 18 government agencies participated in the workshop, which focused on the fields of space and various relevant applications.

The workshop was divided into several themes, the most prominent of which was learning about the latest technologies and space science applications that can be harnessed to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development goals and to enhance the infrastructure of the space sector, including satellites and relevant payloads, ground stations to control satellites and receive space data.

Ms. Rasha Al-Amad, the Strategic Planning and Projects Officer of NSSA first introduced the national space policy, NSSA’s 2019–2023 strategic plans and objectives and the most prominent current and future projects and also covered the services provided by NSSA, such as providing high-resolution images, satellite data and analysis studies to achieve the requirements of the stakeholders.

A number of experts from KSAT participated in the implementation of the workshop, together with Dr. Mohamed E. Al-Aseeri, CEO of NSSA, and presented and discussed a number of themes. They responded to inquiries from the participants on the establishment of space science concepts and on the importance of space science applications for government entities and also reviewed a wide range of examples related to fieldwork.

The workshop dealt with several important aspects concerning the employment of space science to meet many national and international requirements and, in particular, to strengthen Bahrain’s ability to achieve sustainable development objectives and to make good use of space and space science to support the national economy. Discussions and inquiries from the participants influenced the workshop’s work and contributed tremendously to achieving the desired objectives of its implementation, the most important of which is the employment of space data and information to serve development in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

On this point, Dr. Mohamed E. Al-Aseeri said, “This is the ninth workshop that the NSSA carries out in a few months to educate representatives of government authorities about the importance of space science and introduce them to the latest technologies used in areas related to their work and in a way that contributes to raising performance standards, improving quality, reducing costs and obtaining the highest rates satisfaction of beneficiaries. All of this is in line with the objectives of the esteemed government’s work program and with Bahrain’s 2030 Economic Vision that we all aim to achieve. NSSA is keen to continue its awareness-raising approach about the importance of investing in space science. Its endeavors in this are many and at different levels, as we target with our awareness program all segments of society and various sectors, and the coming period will hopefully include more of these activities”.

Dr. Al-Aseeri added, “NSSA cooperates closely with all relevant government authorities, and this workshop allows the participants to learn about a set of successful experiences in the uses of space technologies and employ them in order to achieve sustainable development objectives”.

In his concluding remarks, Dr. Al-Aseeri extended his sincere thanks and appreciation to KSAT and its experts for their distinguished efforts in successfully implementing the workshop. He also thanked all the participating parties and their representatives who enriched the workshop with their participation, constructive discussions, extensive experience and their eagerness to have accurate details to ensure that the benefit is transferred to their employers in a way that contributes to achieving one of the most important objectives of this workshop.

NSSA has various activities and active participations in local, regional and international arenas. Since the beginning of 2021, NSSA has represented the Kingdom of Bahrain in many international and regional meetings in space science, such as the “Women in Science and Technology” event and the “Program in Space” initiative. It has also announced the formation of a team in the Kingdom of Bahrain from an elite group of students to participate in the Global Space Camp that will be held in the US and many other countries.