Strata's new plan to focus on advanced manufacturing covering biopharma and automation

Mubadala-owned company will diversify its manufacturing portfolio while doubling down on its core aerospace activities

Strata's new long-term strategy is in line with the UAE's ambition to grow its industrial sector. Photo: Strata
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Strata, Mubadala Investment Company’s aerospace unit, plans to expand its advanced manufacturing capabilities to include more segments in the industrial sector as part of its new long-term strategy unveiled on Wednesday.

The company will focus on a broad range of high-tech production opportunities covering biopharma, advanced materials manufacturing, digitisation, automation and more, it said in a statement.

“Today we embark on a new journey where we will witness a period of significant improvements and growth for Strata. We will not only double down on our aerospace manufacturing capability but also intend to have a larger contribution on the UAE manufacturing and socioeconomic growth … by diversifying our manufacturing portfolio,” said Ismail Ali Abdulla, Strata's chief executive.

The announcement comes after The National reported in November about the company's plans to expand into advanced manufacturing technology such as robotics and artificial intelligence with the aim of developing local production.

Benefits will include establishing new specialities within the UAE economy, providing high-skill jobs for Emiratis, attracting more companies to carry out their activities from the Emirates and offering small and medium enterprises (SMEs) new opportunities to work with Strata within these areas, Mr Abdulla said at the time.

Strata's new long-term strategy is in line with the UAE's ambition to more than double its industrial sector's contribution to national gross domestic product to Dh300 billion ($81.6bn) by 2031 from Dh133bn in 2021. The Operation300bn strategy also seeks to support 13,500 SMEs over the next decade.

“By investing in national … talent and vision, fostering vibrant commercial and industrial clusters, and forming strong partnerships with global entities who share the same vision of sustainable development, Strata aims to dynamise future growth and investment in new and exciting ways,” Mr Abdulla said.

In 2020, the aerospace company outlined its plans to diversify into health technology as the Covid-19 pandemic boosted demand for medical equipment. Strata began producing N95 masks in partnership with Honeywell in May 2020, before seeking export markets.

Strata's pivot to HealthTech is also in line with the UAE's plan to localise high-tech manufacturing capabilities.

The company also aims to transform local businesses into “global champions” with a shared goal of industry disruption, sustainability and growth, it said on Wednesday.

“Strata has promised to create numerous opportunities for local companies and SMEs, all while supporting national industry growth and enhancing their global competitive edge,” it said.

Set up by Mubadala in Al Ain a decade ago to position the UAE in the global aerospace supply chain, Strata has billion-dollar contracts with Boeing, Airbus, Leonardo in Italy and Pilatus Aircraft in Switzerland.

The company expected 2021 revenue of $80 million to $100m, similar to the levels of 2020, Mr Abdulla said in November.

Updated: March 23, 2022, 2:33 PM