The Israel Space Agency published a joint call with their counterpart in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday calling for research groups in Israel and the UAE to submit joint proposals based on data collected from the Vegetation and Environment monitoring on a New Micro-Satellite (VENµS) satellite.
"The important cooperation between Israel and the Emirates in space, which is being launched today, shows that technology connects people,” said Science, Technology and Space Minister Orit Farkash-HaCohen.
This project is the first cooperation between the countries in the field of space – a field of collaboration highlighted in an agreement signed between the governments of Israel and the United Arab Emirates in October 2021 in Dubai. The research will be primarily centered around the climate crisis, with a focus on precision agriculture and the study of water bodies, and will be conducted on the VENµS satellite – the first-ever satellite developed in and launched from Israel.
“Global collaborations are the key to leveraging space to protect the Earth,” said the UAE’s Minister of State for Advanced Technology Sarah Al Amiri. “By partnering with other leading countries in space, we are contributing to expanding the global scientific knowledge base to help humanity develop solutions to its greatest challenges."
The Israeli-French VENµS satellite monitors the condition of the soil, vegetation, forestry, agriculture and the quality of water bodies around the world – among other factors. The VENµS satellite helps farmers with irrigation accuracy in what is known as precision agriculture, is equipped with a camera that captures images in 12 wavelengths, and detect frequent changes in vegetation, soil, beaches, inland bodies of water and the atmosphere.
"Governments sign agreements, but it is the people who make the peace. The cooperation that comes out today is further proof of that," HaCohen concluded.
The deadline for submitting proposals is March 16, 2022. All proposals submitted will be examined by a joint committee of Israel and the United Arab Emirates that will select one project to fund. The selected project will receive total funding of $200,000 for two years from the Israeli Space Agency and the UAE Space Agency.