Highlight of Development through Radio Astronomy Global Network (DRAGN) international workshop series for economic development

Four international workshops will be held throughout 2019 to build partnerships between the various projects in development through radio astronomy that have already been established via the Newton Fund in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia. This collaboration will form a global network of expertise in the mobilization of radio astronomy for economic development. The network will establish and build ‘south-south’ connections that will help the sharing of experiences and lessons learned in how to translate the high tech skills of radio astronomy into local job creation and entrepreneurship. Other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the three continental regions not currently involved will be encouraged to join the established activities and build strong regional collaborations around this theme.

The workshops are fully funded by an award from the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund. Hence the cost of all participants including travel, accommodation and subsistence will be covered by the project. About 40 participants including expert speakers are expected at each event and these will mostly be by invitation. Earlier this year, the Dish Conversion Workshop was held in Ghana, followed by the Regional VLBI Workshop in Mexico. Click here to learn more about the Ghana workshop.

In June, the Economic Development through Radio Astronomy Workshop will be held in UK; the UK institutions that are organising these events along with the workshop host institutions below are the University of Leeds, University of Hertfordshire, University of Manchester, University of Oxford, University of Bristol and University of Central Lancashire.This event will be hosted at Goonhilly Earth Station in the UK by GES Ltd. It will bring together experts in related industries with radio astronomers and representatives from local industries and commerce in developing countries to explore the opportunities for job creation and entrepreneurship linked to the emergence of local radio astronomy infrastructure and expertise. The related industries will involve space science, remote sensing, satellite communications, telecommunications, geodetic applications and big data. Experts will come from GES Ltd, UKSA, ESA, SANSA and HartRAO among others. Participants will be invited from the LMIC countries in Africa, Latin America and SE Asia.

Local Organising Committee
  • Kat Hickey – Chair
  • Ian Jones – Deputy
Scientific Organising Committee
  • Melvin Hoare, University of Leeds, UK – Chair
  • Mark Birkinshaw, University of Bristol, UK – Deputy

Date: 10-14 June 2019
Location: Goonhilly Earth Station, UK
Host: GES – Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd.

In September 2019 (tentatively), the Big Data and Digital Technology Workshop will be held in Thailand. More information is available here.