A new Fourth Industrial Revolution programme – the UAE’s ‘Industry 4.0’ – was launched on Wednesday and the 12 ‘champions’ introduced, who will act as its key pillars.
“This initiative is a first-of-its-kind in the Middle East and it represents a cornerstone of the ‘Projects of the 50’, which were launched last month, to guide the next 50 years of social and economic development in the UAE,” Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, said.
“It is also a key pillar of ‘Operation Dh300 billion’, the national strategy for industry and advanced technology, which the UAE Government launched in March earlier this year to increase our industrial sector’s contribution to the GDP to Dh300 billion by 2031,” the minister said in her keynote address.
The initiative, Al Amiri, will further consolidate the UAE’s role as an incubator of pioneering engineering projects.
“Altogether this will lead to a more attractive ecosystem for foreign direct investments, and help draw investors, industrialists, and innovators from all over the world to test, develop and launch their ideas in the UAE, particularly in the industrial sector.”
The programme, she said, will increase the productivity of the industrial sector by 30 per cent and add Dh25 billion to the GDP by 2031.
The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology signed memoranda of understanding with 12 entities and the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ajman.
The new entities will form the ‘Industry 4.0 Champions Network’ and includes Adnoc, Edge, Emirates Global Aluminium, Siemens, Honeywell, Unilever, Ericsson, Schneider Electric, Microsoft, Cisco, SAP and Aveva.
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, was present during the ceremony.
Al Amiri underlined that the MoUs are “highly important” for the future projects and 12 new partners a “key pillar” of the programme.
“Alongside our partners from the DEDs, through creating the ‘Champions 4.0 Network’ we aim to support emerging, small and medium-sized companies in adopting advanced technology,” she said.
The new network will support the ministry’s efforts to create 100 ‘lighthouses’ companies by 2031, which are categorised by the World Economic Forum as the fourth industrial revolution organisations.
“Together these ‘lighthouse’ companies will enable us to cultivate the optimum business environment to establish or attract 500 tech companies by 2031,” Al Amiri added.
Ahmed Khashan, cluster president, Gulf countries, Schneider Electric, noted that the industries of the future will be run by technology to drive efficiency, productivity and sustainability.
“We are very much looking forward to working with the Ministry to drive this transformation and to make the UAE a global hub for smart manufacturing. We’ll be sharing learnings from our own journey, as well as the customers we work with worldwide with manufacturers who are based here in the UAE, as well as training UAE nationals on smart manufacturing technologies.”
Dr Tariq Aslam, vice president sales and head of MEA, AVEVA, added: “This initiative would help to bring an acceleration in terms of a digitisation that needs to take place across the UAE’s various industry verticals.”
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