Dr. Ahmad bin Abdulla Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the UAE Space Agency, stressed that the "UAE Genes in Space Competition" was a continuation of the country’s efforts in supporting ambitious Emirati youth and their innovative initiatives.
The competition contributed to highlighting the work of the youth in various space-related sectors with its scientific applications and technology. These fields are considered the pillars of the country’s growth and the road to its advancement, he said.
Al Falasi made these statements during the launch of the experiment of Emirati student Alia Al Mansoori who recently won the UAE Genes in Space Competition at the International Space Station, as part of the ongoing co-operation between the UAE Space Agency, Boeing, miniPCR and The National Newspaper.
The competition, which was launched by Boeing with support from the UAE Space Agency, miniPCR and The National Newspaper, gives students studying between 7th and 12th grade the opportunity to develop experiments based on DNA, which can be performed by astronauts at the International Space Station.
Al Falasi highlighted the accomplishments of the space sector in terms of elevating national adequacies and increasing general awareness, especially among the country’s youth. He pointed out that the competition helped achieve the most important strategic goals of the Agency, which is developing human capital in the space sector.
He expressed his delight with the nation’s children who proved through their participation in these international events that they have the responsibility and capabilities to make the UAE proud.
Dr. Engineer Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director-General of the UAE Space Agency, stressed the strategic plans of the Agency, which seek to develop national and regional capabilities in space sciences and scientific subjects.
Fifteen-year-old Alia Al Mansoori, who is a student of Al Mawakeb School in Al Barsha, said that the competition has given her the chance of assisting future astronauts to reach Mars safely.
Her experiment will be the third of its kind to be launched at the International Space Station with the sponsorship of the competition, and the first by a student participating in the competition through co-operation with local supporting partners, the UAE Space Agency and The National Newspaper.
Bernard Dunn, President of Boeing in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, said that the participating students have a strong imagination and unique creativity, which was evident in the research works they presented during the competition.