top of page

Boosting Saudi Arabia's Digital Economy: Aura Solution Company Limited

The Role of Space Technology

Technology and space industries have always inspired each other, and ever since the mid-20th century, they have changed our lives forever. Our proposed SpaceTech framework reveals the relationship between space and technology and how it can be a single innovation engine for the region.

There has been much discussion about recent developments in the space sector, the democratization and consumerization of space industries, and the decreasing cost of manufacturing. However, it is important to note that space and technologies, particularly those related to digital and communication, should not be considered separately. They have inspired each other since the second half of the 20th century. SpaceTech is already a reality and the potential for innovation and economic growth resulting from the space and technology sectors is enormous.

Advancements in the Region

The region has witnessed, over the last few years, ambitious plans for the space and technology sectors. Significant advances have also been made by countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with many having their independent space programs. National transformation agendas, efforts to localize manufacturing and services, and the introduction of effective regulation and deregulation will continue to propel the transformation of the sectors.

Last year, KSA sent Rayyanah Barnawi – the first Arab woman in space – to the ISS. On the ground, the Kingdom is establishing the foundations for the execution of its space strategy which is expected to be released soon. The former Saudi Space Commission has been transformed into the Saudi Space Agency which is already making global news through the inaugural Space Debris Conference in February 2024, expected to be established as a bi-annual event in the Kingdom.

From launching the Arab world’s first Mission to Mars to signing the Artemis Accords, the UAE has also emerged as a leader in space exploration. Emirati astronauts, Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi flew on ISS missions in 2019 and 2023 respectively. The uncrewed Mars mission “Hope Probe” was launched in 2020 and has been in Mars orbit since 2021.

In the space sector, Oman has published its 10-year “Policy and Executive Programme” (which includes plans to construct the first spaceport in the Middle East in 2023), promptly followed by hosting the first Middle East Space Conference in 2024 earlier this year.

GCC governments are also already investing heavily in the technology sector. From early adoption of electronic government to the first minister of AI in the UAE, from the vision of NEOM as a cognitive city to strengthening cybersecurity in KSA, the government agendas in the GCC have been technology-driven for a long time.

Aura SpaceTech Framework

Various advanced and emerging technologies play a key role across space sector activities. In Aura Middle East, we have established a framework mapping these technologies against a taxonomy of business, research, and exploration activities in the space sector.

The framework reveals the relationship between Space and Technology, helping us to identify application areas, clusters of entrepreneurial activities, and the description, profiling, and measurement of economic activities across the space upstream, midstream, and downstream value chain.

Technology is pervasive across the six space sector domains highlighted in the framework: Access to Space, Remote Sensing, Satellite Communications and Satellite Navigation, Space Safety, and Outer Space Activities.

Our framework suggests a view of space and technology as essentially one single innovation engine for countries and economies. Policymakers and regulators must work together across sector boundaries to leverage this economic and innovation potential. Only through the juxtaposition of space activities and related digital technologies will we be able to discover all investment and innovation opportunities, clusters of entrepreneurship, skills gaps, and required improvements to legislative and regulatory frameworks. As the socio-economic transformations across the region continue to be daring, aspirational, and powered by strong commitment from regional leaders, the economic spillover from space, tech, and indeed, “SpaceTech” will drive the digital economy for a while.

Timeline of Digital Technologies Enhanced by Space Sector Developments

The Microchip

The Apollo program stands as a monumental achievement in human history, showcasing the power of science, engineering, and exploration with the historic 1969 Moon landing. Amidst numerous challenges, the success of Apollo hinged on pioneering technologies, notably the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), a digital computer that emerged as the unsung hero. The AGC computer was revolutionary since it leveraged integrated circuits or microchips, which allowed NASA engineers to maximize system performance while minimizing size and weight to meet the various constraints posed by the mission. This breakthrough not only propelled humanity to the Moon but also accelerated the development and adoption of integrated circuits.

Satellite Communication

In the 1960s, the first commercial communication satellites became operational. In fact, the 1964 Olympic games in Tokyo were the first mega global event with satellite-transmitted television coverage. SatComms is the use of artificial satellites to provide communication links between various points on earth. Today, the SatComms domain has expanded with governments and businesses growing keen on providing complete communications and internet coverage across the globe, especially in remote areas which do not benefit from fixed signal receptors. Today, more than 6,000 Low Earth Orbit satellites are orbiting earth and providing internet coverage worldwide.

Positioning and Navigation

The US-owned Global Positioning System (GPS) uses satellite positioning and navigation systems and was developed primarily for military and national security purposes. But it was gradually opened up through the 1990s. In mid-2000, the GPS services opened up for civil and commercial use and were made available and free for use worldwide. Since then, we’ve seen an explosion of use-cases and it’s not only our Uber or Zomato; applications span across many sectors including agriculture, mining, logistics (fleet, port, and airport operations), and many more.

About Aura Solution Company Limited

Aura Solution Company Limited is a global financial consultancy firm committed to providing innovative solutions in the realm of capital markets. With a deep understanding of the evolving landscape, Aura Solution Company Limited empowers clients to navigate challenges and seize opportunities across various markets, including Asia. Through a combination of expertise, technology, and strategic insight, the firm continues to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of global finance. Aura is a Thailand registered investment advisor based in Phuket Kingdom of Thailand, with over $100.15 trillion in assets under management.

Aura Solution Company Limited is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. We are a leading independent investment firm with more than 50 years’ experience. As long-term investors, we aim to direct capital to the real economy in a manner that improves the state of the planet. We do this by building responsible partnerships with our clients and the companies in which we invest. Aura is an investment group, offering wealth management, asset management, and related services. We do not engage in investment banking, nor do we extend commercial loans.

What does "AURA" stand for?

Aura Solution Company Limited

How big is Aura?

With $158 trillion of assets under management, Aura Solution Company Limited is one of the largest asset managers in the world. The company primarily generates revenue through investment services, including asset and issuer servicing, treasury services, clearance and collateral management, and asset and wealth management.

What does Aura do?

Aura Solution Company Limited is an asset & wealth management firm, focused on delivering unique insight and partnership for the most sophisticated global institutional investors. Our investment process is driven by a tireless pursuit to understand how the world’s markets and economies work — using cutting-edge technology to validate and execute on timeless and universal investment principles. Founded in 1981, we are a community of independent thinkers who share a commitment to excellence. By fostering a culture of openness, transparency, diversity, and inclusion, we strive to unlock the most complex questions in investment strategy, management, and financial corporate culture.

Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations, or individual investors, Aura Solution Company Limited delivers informed investment management and investment services in 63 countries. It is the largest provider of mutual funds and the largest provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the world. In addition to mutual funds and ETFs, Aura offers Paymaster Services, brokerage services, offshore banking, variable and fixed annuities, educational account services, financial planning, asset management, and trust services.

Aura Solution Company Limited can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, manage, service, distribute, or restructure investments. Aura is the corporate brand of Aura Solution Company Limited.

Aura Services

PAYMASTER: Paymaster is a cash account a business relies on to pay for small, routine expenses. Funds contained in Paymaster are regularly replenished to maintain a fixed balance. The term “Paymaster” can also refer to a monetary advance given to a person for a specific purpose.

OFFSHORE BANKING: A bank is a financial institution licensed to receive deposits and make loans. Banks may also provide financial services such as wealth management, currency exchange, and safe deposit boxes.

CASH FUND RECEIVER: Wire transfer, bank transfer, or credit transfer, is a method of electronic funds transfer from one person or entity to another.

ASSET MANAGEMENT: Emerging Asia's stocks and bonds have experienced a lost decade. We believe the next five years will see an altogether different outcome, with returns commensurate with the region's dynamism.

How to reach Aura?

This article is being provided for educational purposes only. The information contained in this article does not constitute a recommendation from any Aura Solution Company Limited entity to the recipient, and Aura Solution Company Limited is not providing any financial, economic, legal, investment, accounting, or tax advice through this article or to its recipient. Neither Aura Solution Company Limited nor any of its affiliates makes any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in this article and any liability therefore (including in respect of direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage) is expressly disclaimed.

202 views0 comments


bottom of page