Space technology and its wide range of applications contribute essential information and services to many aspects of sustainable development, that is, economic and social development and environmental conservation and protection. Small satellite missions are becoming increasingly important in supporting these roles of space technology, as well as in the advancement of basic space science and technology, notably through capacity building. In 2009, the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, implemented by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, launched the Basic Space Technology Initiative (BSTI) in support of capacity building for the development of basic space technology.
From 2009 to 2011 a series of three United Nations/Austria/European Space Agency Symposiums on Small Satellite Programmes for Sustainable Development were held in Graz, Austria. Starting from 2012, BSTI is organizing international symposiums on basic space technology in the regions that correspond to the United Nations Economic Commissions for Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Asia.
The first Symposium was held as the United Nations/Japan Nano-Satellite Symposium, hosted by the University of Tokyo and the University Space Engineering Consortium (UNISEC) in Nagoya, Japan, from 10-13 October 2012. The second Symposium was held as the United Nations/United Arab Emirates Symposium on Basic Space Technology, hosted by the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 20-23 October 2013. The third Symposium was held as the United Nations/Mexico Symposium on Basic Space Technology hosted by the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education (CICESE) and the Mexican Space Agency in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, from 20-23 October 2014.
The present and fourth Symposium will be held as the United Nations/South Africa Symposium on Basic Space Technology in Cape Town and will focus on the African region. It is organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs in cooperation with the Department of Science and Technology and the University of Cape Town through its Spacelab programme, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of South Africa.
The Symposium objectives will build on the outcomes of the aforementioned BSTI Symposiums held from 2009 to 2013. The relevant symposium reports, containing the objectives, symposium summaries, observations and recommendations made by participants are available from the BSTI Resources page.
The objectives of the UN/South Africa Symposium will be to:
The Symposium programme will be structured around a series of dedicated topical sessions. Presentations will be solicited through a Call for Papers. In addition, renowned experts in the field will be invited to make some of the presentations. The participants will consider specific topics and discuss observations and recommendations on the basis of which a United Nations General Assembly report will be prepared for the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Appropriate time will be set aside for discussions and for short presentations by the participants on their own relevant activities.
The following topics will be considered in dedicated sessions:
Kindly note that the Symposium organizers may modify the number and themes of sessions of the final programme.
In addition to the sessions described above, there will be panel discussions to share experiences and lessons learned through capacity-building activities in space technology development as well as to promote opportunities for international and regional collaborations among the participants. The sessions will be supplemented by a poster session as well as by an exhibition, demonstrations of relevant software tools, technical visits and practical hands-on exercises.
The co-sponsors will also organize an attractive programme of side-events for all Symposium participants. The detailed Symposium programme will be made available on this website.
Symposium participants should be involved in the planning or implementation of space technology development activities in international or national space agencies, governmental or non-governmental organizations, research institutions, industry, universities or other academic institutions. Participants are expected to have obtained university degrees in relevant fields of study or should be enrolled in relevant studies. Professional working experience in one of the fields related to the theme of the Symposium is desirable. Applications from qualified female applicants are particularly encouraged. Invited participants will receive a formal invitation letter.
Applicants and their nominating organizations are strongly encouraged to find their own sources of sponsorship to participate in the Symposium. However, within the limited financial resourcesavailable to the co-sponsors, a number of qualified applicants from developing countries expressing the need for financial support will be offered financial support to attend the Symposium. This may include the provision of a round-trip air ticket between Cape Town and the applicant's international airport of departure and/or room and board for the duration of the Symposium. En-route and other expenses or any changes made to an air ticket provided by the co-sponsors must be borne by the participants.
Applicants expressing the need for funding support will be selected on a competitive basis based on their qualifications and expected contributions to the Symposium. All funded applicants are required to make a presentation related to the Symposium theme. Successful applicants will be notified in July 2015.
Applications are now closed. Registration for this event ended on June 28th, 2015 11:59 PM CET