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Prof. Dan G. Blumberg, Vice-President of Ben-Gurion University for regional and industrial development.

BGU teams up with the United Nations to develop space tech for UN-SPIDER

A few areas in particular where the two will work closely are emergency response, building space-based technologies meant to detect disasters and sharing the information with scientists worldwide.

November 1, 200

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a partnered regional office with the UNOOSA program "United Nations Platform for Space-Based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response" (UN-SPIDER).


The Regional Support Office (RSO), as it's dubbed in the program, has regional centers that work directly with UN-SPIDER to collaborate with the UN body on "technical advisory support, capacity building and outreach for leveraging space for disaster risk reduction."


A few areas in particular the two will work closely on includes emergency response, building space-based technologies meant to detect disasters and sharing this information with scientists worldwide.


"I am delighted to see the UN-SPIDER’s network of RSOs continuously growing, adding diverse, top-class expertise to its resources and allowing the sharing of knowledge on a global scale," said UNOOSA director Simonetta Di Pippo. "Through the RSOs, our work to help countries leverage space tools to counteract disasters is scaled up to improve the lives of more people worldwide."


The RSO will be located in the BGU Earth and Planetary Image Facility (EPIF), which is also a regional partner of NASA, and it will work towards developing a satellite as well as work on research to advance remote sensing capabilities within airborne technologies.


"This is an exciting moment where we will be making our long-term scientific knowledge available to support relief efforts when needed," said Prof. Dan G. Blumberg, BGU's vice president for regional and industrial development. "Our ability to observe Earth from space and rapidly analyze complex imagery is being put to good use worldwide, mitigating disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, drought and others.


"We wish our University and UNOOSA a fruitful collaboration on capacity building and training in this very important field."


Israel Space Agency director-general Avi Blasberger added: "The Israel Space Agency has committed significant resources to increase Israeli involvement in this activity. We are pleased to see the seeds of our efforts taking root, and we wish Ben-Gurion University every success."


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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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