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Space Foresight Exercise UAE

Commercial study commissioned by UEA Space Agency. The overall goal of the UAESA project was to identify critical technology areas, critical issues, critical actions and sustainable development goals (SDGs) that may be shaping (inter)national policy agendas and roadmaps for future deep space missions, such as the UAE’s plan to establish human settlements on Mars by 2117. Tasks of the project include Delphi-like survey; Briefing paper; Multi-actor workshops; and a White Paper to consolidate the workshop results and address the most important discussions topics, and key outcomes and recommendations resulting from the workshop.

Related sector

  • C - Manufacturing
    • Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products
    • Manufacture of other transport equipment
  • H - Transporting and storage
  • J - Information and communication

Lead organisation

UAE Space Agency - Government actor (Departments, Agencies, etc.) ( National / Federal body )

Geographical scope

United Arab Emirates
EU countries, Asia ( Finland, United Arab Emirates )

Top foresight methods

  • Action Roadmapping
  • Delphi Surveys
  • Critical Issues Analysis
  • Workshops
  • Literature Review

Application Area

  • Wicked-Problems/Moonshots - Establish human settlements on Mars by 2117 goes beyond the so-called ’moon-shot’ category and involved a wide ranged of wicked problems (how to sustainably support human life in Deep Space Missions) and possible wild cards.
  • Science and Research Policy - To inform the science and research policies of the UAE Space Agency.
  • Technology Development - To prioritise the top technology areas for the space sector in the UAE.


  • Implement a Delphi survey on critical issues, critical technologies and critical action for UAE Deep Space missions to Mars.
  • Prepare a Briefing Paper that builds on initial work done by UAESA and main results from the Delphi.
  • Organise a workshop to generate future plausible scenarios that articulate how the space future could evolve in 100 years.
  • Prepare a White Paper with a set of common recommendations relevant to policies, initiatives, investment and collaboration in UAE Deep Space missions to Mars.
  • Provide inputs for a bigger UAE Space Agency foresight exercise on the sustainable settlement of humans on Mars by 2117.
  • Explore how Deep Space Missions contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The idea of this project emerged during informal discussion at the Executive Education on Foresight and Sustainable Futures at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research. Dr Khaled Al Hashimi attended the professional development course and discussed ways in which Dr Rafael Popper and his colleagues at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland could support UAESA foresight activities.

Critical Issues from assessment: