SpaceChain today announced the opening of its UAE office in Abu Dhabi to mark its foray into the burgeoning space sector in the Middle East, where it will work closely with start-ups and organisations across the region to drive new opportunities in the new space economy.
Image courtesy SpaceChain
Incorporated and operated under the legal entity of SpaceChain MENA Ltd, the new office is located at Hub71, Abu Dhabi's global tech ecosystem, where the company will spearhead the planning and development of integrated space-blockchain projects and initiatives in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The establishment of SpaceChain's UAE office is a milestone in advancing SpaceChain's decentralised satellite infrastructure (DSI) for business and fintech applications and extending its space-as-a-service capabilities to enterprises and communities across the MENA region to create a next-generation infrastructure for the blockchain industry in outer space.
To date, SpaceChain has successfully launched six blockchain-enabled satellite payloads into space to realise its DSI vision.
"Being part of the Hub71 community places SpaceChain at the gateway to the burgeoning space industry in the MENA region. Our presence alongside other high-growth tech companies will allow us to share expertise and collaborate with leading influential players in Abu Dhabi's growing innovation ecosystem that are interested in capitalising on the New Space Economy," said Zee Zheng, SpaceChain co-founder and CEO. "The space industry in the Middle East is rapidly growing with strong support from the UAE government and its planned economic diversification from oil. We are very excited to be contributing to the industry growth by helping regional enterprises transition into space-based businesses through the integration of space and decentralised blockchain technology."
SpaceChain MENA will collaborate closely with start-ups and organisations in the space, blockchain and fintech arenas within the region to uncover business and growth opportunities across multiple service offerings, including e-wallets, space commodities exchange, micro-geoservices that connect Earth observation service providers with user communities and decentralised finance (DeFi) applications.
The UAE government has lent strong support in developing a vibrant space industry across the region. The National Space Strategy 2030 aims to enhance the space sector's contribution to the national economy and promote the UAE's regional and international presence in the space industry.
It also sets the general framework for the space sector and activities in the UAE for the years leading up to 2030, including government activities related to space, commercial activities; scientific activities carried out by the public and private sectors, and academic institutions and research and development centres.
The UAE was also among the first to launch a mission to Mars. Launched in July 2020, the Hope Probe (aka Emirates Mars Mission) was the first uncrewed space exploration mission to Mars to study weather events in the lower atmosphere of the red planet.
Nick Trudgen, chief commercial officer and co-founder of SpaceChain MENA, will be responsible for charting the company's overall growth across the region. He joined SpaceChain in 2017 and currently heads both SpaceChain's United Kingdom and UAE offices.
"The UAE has laid a strong foundation in establishing its space industry as a sustainable economic enabler to benefit future generations and is executing on a comprehensive action plan to develop specialised capabilities in this field," said Nick Trudgen. "SpaceChain is proud to be contributing to the growth of the UAE's space sector by fueling growth in commercial activities and working in collaboration with organisations and start-ups on harnessing space-as-a-service as a platform for innovation."
According to Euroconsult's market intelligence report on government space programmes, space spending in the MENA region has almost doubled during the last decade, from US$755 million in 2010 to nearly US$1.3 billion in 2020.