30th Workshop on Space Technology for Socio-Economic Benefits:
"Challenges and Capacity-building Opportunities for Emerging Space Nations"

In partnership with the International Astronautical Federation (IAF)

Baku, Azerbaijan, 29 September - 1 October 2023, in conjunction with the 74th International Astronautical Congress
Venue: Baku Convention Centre, Heydar Aliyev Avenue, Baku

(Update on 4 June) The call for abstracts is closed.
You can register for attending the workshop by submitting the form no later than 18 June 2023 Register to attend


The United Nations, through its Programme on Space Applications implemented by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), and the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) are co-organizing the Workshop on Space Technology for Socio-Economic Benefits on the theme "Challenges and Capacity-building Opportunities for Emerging Space Nations".
The purpose of the Workshop is to bring together people who are conducting capacity-building activities, from either government, space agencies, research institutes, academia, non-governmental organizations, and those who are interested in building partnerships to accelerate capacity-building in developing nations about using space technologies and applications for sustainable economic, social and environmental development.

The Workshop will be hosted by Azercosmos, held in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 29 September to 1 October 2023 in conjunction with the 74th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), and it will be the 30th in its series.


The Workshop will provide a platform for discussion about how to increase capabilities in space technologies and space applications within developing countries, as well as to increase awareness of the benefits they offer. The main objectives of the Workshop are to:

  1. Raise awareness of the various capacity-building efforts that are currently done in various countries and regions of the world, in particular efforts carried out through regional or international cooperation;
  2. Share challenges and success stories of capacity-building efforts, to discuss what methods are the most effective and what synergies could be applied between initiatives of different stakeholders;
  3. Bring together stakeholders from various governments, space agencies, academia, and industries to promote partnerships;

Presentations made during the Workshop will be published on the website of the Office for Outer Space Affairs, while the report of the Workshop and its recommendations will be distributed to the participants and to the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.


The programme includes presentations grouped into sessions where speakers present sequentially on a specific topic, as well as panel discussions during which speakers give short introductory statements, followed by a moderated discussion among speakers and questions with the audience.

A detailed programme will be released in July 2023.

In order to facilitate the discussions and the search for partnerships, three topics will be considered in the call for abstracts:

Topic 1: Available capacity-building opportunities;
Speakers will share information about current capacity-building activities that they can make available to other countries/regions at no cost; the capacity-building activities proposed shall fall within one of the following categories:

  1. university level education in space engineering;
  2. university level education about developing and using space applications (including meteorology, remote sensing, telecommunications and satellite navigation);
  3. university level education in space policy and space law;
  4. university level education to develop business skills relating to space business opportunities or entrepreneurship in the space sector;
  5. education at a level below the university level focusing on space technology and applications of any type;

Topic 2: Lessons Learned in building educational opportunities;
Speakers will provide a critical assessment of what elements have been needed to maximize the impact of capacity-building initiatives to develop space activities in their country or region. Government officials, space agencies, research and development institutions, policy and decision-makers, members of academia, educators and the private sector are welcome to share their experience and explain what has been most effective to develop a skilled workforce and what advice they would offer to non-space-faring nations.

Topic 3: Needs of new space-faring nations or of non-space-faring nations to develop and obtain space-related knowledge and skills.
Speakers will explain their needs and the practical problems that they encounter when attempting to develop a workforce and a space industry in their own country, as well as issues they face to raise awareness of what benefits space can bring to daily life. Topics might include an overview of their needs in areas such as space technology education and space applications education but also their needs to ensure that the benefits of space applications are better understood among policy-makers.


Breakout sessions might be created for group discussions on specific topics such as recommendations and feedback on individual UNOOSA initiatives or ideas on new initiatives to accelerate capacity-building in new or non-space-faring nations.

Call for Abstracts (Update on 4 June)

The call for abstracts is closed. Interested participants can register to attend the Workshop by submitting the registration form no later than 18 June 2023 .

Abstracts shall be submitted via the registration form for the 30th UN/IAF Workshop, no later than 4 June 2023. Late submissions will not be considered.

When submitting abstracts for this workshop, please note that:

  • Presentation of concrete case studies, pilot projects and lessons learnt is strongly encouraged.
  • Abstracts reporting on activities that have already taken place will be given preference over those primarily focused on theories, concepts, and plans for the future.
  • Abstracts covering topics or activities that have been presented at a prior UN/IAF Workshop must state this explicitly and detail both the additional information to be delivered and the added value that this represents.

Successful applicants will be informed by the end of June 2023.


The working language of the Workshop will be English.
All participants are required to have good English language skills.


UNOOSA and the IAF are responsible for organizing the Workshop. Sponsorship of the workshop is still open to interested entities who may contact UNOOSA at unoosa-events@un.org.


The Workshop is being planned for a total of 150 participants. They include technical experts, innovators, educators, policy- and decision-makers from international, regional, national and local institutions, United Nations agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, research and development institutions, and also from industry.

Participants will be selected up to the maximum capacity of the room, based on relevant professional and/or academic experience.


Within the limited financial resources available, UNOOSA may provide funding for individuals selected as a speaker and whose nationality is classified as a developing country. They will be selected on a competitive basis, depending on their place of origin and relevant professional or educational background. For the list of developing countries, please refer to the annex of the "World Economic Situation and Prospects 2023" report, available at https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/publication/world-economic-situation-and-prospects-2023/

The funding could consist of a round trip air-ticket - most economic fare - between the airport of international departure in their home country and Baku; and/or a fixed Daily Subsistence Allowance that covers accommodation and meals for the duration of the workshop provided by bank transfer after the workshop; and/or a free registration to the International Astronautical Congress that is held immediately after the workshop.

Please note that financial support will only be considered for applicants who submit an abstract that is retained in the programme for an oral presentation at the workshop.


Health insurance for each of the selected participants is necessary and is the responsibility of the person or his/her institution or Government. UNOOSA will not assume any responsibility for life and health insurance, nor for expenses related to medical treatment or accidents.


For additional information on the Workshop programme, please contact UNOOSA at unoosa-events@un.org.

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