Nanoracks, a provider of commercial space services such as small space satellites, and The Abu Dhabi Investment Office, a government entity facilitating investment, have partnered to launch a new Space AgTech company called StarLab Oasis.
StarLab Oasis is a commercial research centre founded to explore harsh growing conditions in both Abu Dhabi and space. The project is intended to accelerate the growth of Abu Dhabi’s AgTech ecosystem.
Due to desertification, climate change and water scarcity, the agricultural conditions of Abu Dhabi are becoming increasingly arid and challenging. Scientists will experiment by sending seeds into space, also a challenging environment, with the hope of inducing mutations and resulting in new, more resilient seeds that can be used back on earth.
The mission is to utilise the unique space environment to develop agricultural food technologies for a resource-limited world.
StarLab Oasis will comprise of a team of international researchers along with experts in bioengineering, plant sciences, genomic seed technology, closed loop environment systems, robotics and automated software systems. By working closely with Nanoracks and partners in the UAE, StarLab Oasis hopes to advance market research in agriculture, climate science and sustainability.
The new company will be led by Allen Herbert as General Manager.
Herbert stated: “What’s most exciting about the emirate is its global perspective, innovation, and ambition. Abu Dhabi’s environment for creativity and entrepreneurship sets it apart as the place to drive the future of agriculture for this region and the world.
“The results of the ground-breaking work at StarLab Oasis will have tangible, down-to-earth benefits which will help us pursue new ways of using technology to produce food while simultaneously coping with climate challenges.” , he said.
CEO of Nanoracks, Jeffrey Manber added: “StarLab Oasis will provide the technology and access necessary to overcome the direst challenges facing our Earth today, from climate change to water scarcity, and to one day in turn, help sustain tomorrow’s farmers, innovators, and space explorers.”