UAE adopts WEF standard for smart industry readiness

Singapore index will help companies adopt Industry 4.0 technologies and harness digital transformation to boost productivity and economic contribution

The UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology will adopt the Smart Industry Readiness Index, the global standard used by the World Economic Forum, which will help local companies use Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to boost productivity and their contribution to the economy.

Siri was created by the Singapore Economic Development Board in partnership with leading technology companies, consultancies and industry and academic experts. It covers the three core building blocks of 4IR: process, technology and organisation.

The index is an important component of the UAE's own Industry 4.0 programme and will serve as a benchmark for companies, equipping them with frameworks to open the door to integration and highlight the benefits of digital transformation.

The first 70 companies in the UAE’s industrial sector have already been evaluated for the index, said Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, undersecretary of the MoIAT. The ministry’s goal is to assess 200 companies by the end of 2022.

“The rewards for success are clear: higher productivity, better product quality, enhanced operational efficiency, reduced energy consumption – all of which can make a substantial contribution to our sustainable development goals,” Mr Al Suwaidi said at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit in Dubai on Tuesday.

The UAE's Industry 4.0 plan, announced in October, aims to boost productivity and the development of innovative products, increase manufacturing by 30 per cent and add Dh25 billion ($6.8bn) to the nation's economy by 2031.

Among the first to sign up for the programme were the departments of economic development of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ajman, UAE multinationals Emirates Global Aluminium and defence conglomerate Edge, and global technology firms Microsoft and Siemens.

The UAE also introduced Operation 300bn, a 10-year strategy to increase the industrial sector's contribution to the country's gross domestic product to Dh300bn, and “Make it in the Emirates” initiative, both of which have the goal of transforming the nation into a manufacturing powerhouse.

Siri will be a key platform of the MoIAT's Industry 4.0 programme, which aims to accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies across the UAE’s industrial sector.

Mr Al Suwaidi also outlined the other initiatives that have been launched to support this objective, including the Champions 4.0 Network, a group of 12 local and multinational companies that will showcase the benefits of 4IR technologies.

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The rewards for success are clear: higher productivity, better product quality, enhanced operational efficiency, reduced energy consumption – all of which can make a substantial contribution to our sustainable development goals
Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology

The Siri index, which is backed by the Singapore government, comprises three layers and provides a critical first step to digital transformation that will future-proof companies and industries.

“The topmost layer identifies three fundamental building blocks of Industry 4.0: technology, process, and organisation. All three building blocks must be considered to harness the full potential of Industry 4.0,” it says on its website.

“Underpinning the building blocks are eight pillars, which represent critical aspects that companies must focus on to become future-ready organisations. The third and final layer comprises 16 dimensions that companies should reference when evaluating the current maturity levels of their facilities.”

The WEF said 4IR has the potential to raise global income levels and improve the quality of life around the world. Further into the future, Industry 4.0 can lead to a “supply-side miracle”, with long-term gains in efficiency and productivity, it said.

Updated: November 23rd 2021, 1:43 PM
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