Iran ready to participate in int’l space projects

IRNA – President of Iranian Space Agency Morteza Barari hailed establishing cooperation in regional and international cooperation in all fields, especially in space industry.

Barari made the remarks Wednesday in a statement addressing the 10th Anniversary High-level Forum of Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO).

The full text of Barari’s address is as follows:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Distinguished delegates,

It is a great pleasure for me to attend this glorious gathering of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO). On behalf of the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran and in the capacity of President of Iranian Space Agency (ISA), I would like to appreciate the Government of People’s Republic of China for its great hospitality as the host government of APSCO as well as extending my compliments to all delegates here for their support.

Benefiting from the opportunity, I also wish to extend my appreciation to Secretary-General, Professor Dr. Li Xinjun and his Colleagues for their entire successful event and I am absolutely confident that their already proved effective leadership and rich experience will make this 10th Anniversary a full success as well. On behalf of my delegation, I assure you and your esteemed colleagues of our full support in your endeavors.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Iranian space technology improvement is thoroughly due and indebted to indigenous efforts of cultivated young talents. Since its early days, Iranian space industry has been amongst the first sectors to follow the typical capacity building textbook definitions by designing, implementing, integrating, testing and launching its satellites and infrastructures executed by endogenous empowerment. However, the Islamic Republic of Iran has always welcomed regional and international cooperative activities in all fields, including the space industry, and now I am honored to invite all regional and international entrepreneurs, innovators and both governmental and private businesses, on a long-term Iranian support basis, to engage in peaceful scientific and technical cooperation, implementing joint space projects and providing services using space technology. At present, due to the fact that the necessary infrastructure in APSCO has been already formed and the Member States are well prepared to further cooperate in different space areas, we suggest that such peaceful cooperation need to be actively promoted.

Distinguished delegates,

Based on United Nations Development Program (UNDP) clear definition, three circumstances need to collaborate to help capacity development flourish in every country: Enabling Environment, Organizational Level and Individual Level.

Regarding the first one where people and organizations function properly and together, it should be mentioned that over 20 universities across the country have presented and educated aerospace engineering for more than 3 decades, ranking 11th in aerospace in the world, according to SCImago Journal. According to recent statistics by Iran’s Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, some 1500 students are currently studying aerospace. Furthermore, several facilities, laboratories and institutions are in charge of space technology knowledge development.

In regard to Organizational Level, peaceful space activities have always been one of our government’s major policy interests. ISA within the structure of Ministry of communications and Information technology (ICT) ensures internal effectiveness of space technology roadmap execution. Moreover, Iranian Space Supreme Council, led by the president of I.R. of Iran, has high level supervision over the development path. Within the last decade, ISA has completed the space value chain concluding in operational satellite ready to launch.

At Individual Level, enabling young talents is pursued by improving relevant knowledge, skills, experience and identifying potential leadership among the best. Through the recent policies, support of innovation and startups has demonstrated substantial capacity to alter the individual effectiveness into an influential solution.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

From technical point of view, capacity building in Iran has already begun and is currently expanding to provide services for daily life quality improvement by the hand of young entrepreneurs.

For about 15 years, institutional arrangements have been made among universities, space research institutions, industry, and legislator authorities to facilitate the technical improvement of space sector. A remarkable achievement in this regard is satellite operating licenses which enable private ownership of communications and remote sensing satellites through operation to business development.

Another example of these arrangements is remote sensing and communications satellite roadmaps which are currently being pursued by both academic and industrial institutions.

Student CubeSats Competition with utilization of on-job training accounts for the most recent accomplishment. Three final teams of postgraduate students in multiple majors are currently working on their CubeSats engineering model and will soon enter acceleration programs for further development. It must be mentioned that the missions defined for this competition are in line with APSCO SSS project.

This long-term development has had several achievements for space technology capacity building, including local centers for space science and technology that comprises laboratories, clean rooms, satellite soft and hard platforms, observatories, assembly, integration, test facilities, but more importantly, a great deal of knowledge gained by our specialists at every level.

In parallel with technical improvement, leadership skills are also taken into consideration. Young oriented leadership has started within higher levels of administration. The ICT Minister of I.R. of Iran, who is the youngest member of the State Cabinet, is only 37. His effort to alter the human structure of subsidiary organizations is gradually taking place. The goal is to benefit from the young generation’s energy and audacity to create fundamental changes. In this regard, women are also playing great roles. Experienced, worthy young women are being chosen as managers and leaders of innovation flow. For instance, 30% of the administrators and officials in ISA are women with fair and equal payments and rights.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In pursuit of capacity development using cultivated young talents and in order to engage the educated and motivated generation, the whole Iranian space body, led by ISA, is active in the Space Business Development program. The most important purpose of this program is serving people better with high-tech space applications. The main areas of interest include agriculture and insurance, environmental monitoring, disaster management, oil and gas, weather forecast, smart city and urban services, including internet of things.

Like any other capacity building stories, one solution does not fit all.

As the first step, in order to engage the beneficiaries and end users, ongoing sessions of promotion are being held by universities and governmental experts. Fortunately, solidarity and alliance of the experts in public and private sectors promise certain evolution in utilizing space application to improve the quality of life relevant to local circumstances.

In line with the first step, capacity assessment of business development demonstrates that most potential markets for space application such as agriculture, insurance, location-based services, mining, oil and gas industry, environmental monitoring and disaster management are practically ready to take up solutions proposed by young entrepreneurs.

The next fundamental step is to define a strategy to achieve this vision. One of the most required plans is “structural readiness” which is taking place by adoption of new legislation to help facilitating the process. Technical and human resource assessment represents a promising and even exportable proficiency, which is being ameliorated by accelerating programs.

Finally for further capacity development in this regard, it was also decided to establish an innovation center similar to startup factories where teams and startups be consistently created and exposed to different opportunities and information. It must be mentioned that unprecedented institutional arrangements among influential duty bearers in support and promotion of startup programs are taking place in order to realize proper function of this space innovation center.

Dear delegates,

As you are well aware, APSCO is an international organization capable of multilateral space technology and application capacity building among member states. For the last decade of APSCO activities, establishing the common literature of space promotion has targeted a significant quantity of engineering students and projects.

However, we believe it is time to take the international collaboration one step further and engage in more than educational capacity building programs. It is time for APSCO to improve the performance in terms of joint venture and cooperation of member states to define and implement operational projects with common benefits in applications.

I, hereby, invite and welcome international collaboration of experts in space business development, especially, APSCO Member States taking part in each or all of the suggestions below:

● defining and engaging in shared investment opportunities in space technology and business development;
● Industrialization of space technology and applications for importing and exporting space applications that help us improve the humankind life quality;
● Establishing joint centers and sharing business opportunities;
● Establishing institutions for business development programs which include joint events held in Member States;
● Completing the space application value chain by the common domestic means available for each Member State;
● Studying ways and means in APSCO to support the full rights and benefits of Member States especially developing countries in peaceful uses of outer space, according to space treaties and conventions;
● Organizing multilateral joint venture in space technology development;
● Supporting service exports of knowledge-based companies.

Capacity building in Iranian space technology is quite young and vulnerable and requires even more attention to flourish and influence daily lives. However, our growing young elites are even more determined than ever in the history.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Delegates,

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate our position to wish enhancement in cooperation within the framework of APSCO in order to achieve the concrete result and our sincere hope for the successful and satisfactory conclusion of the event.

Thank you.