UAE collaborates with '4IR champions' to boost tech adoption in industrial sector

Champions Network Assembly event on Wednesday included launch of 25 new technology pilots

The 'champions' network was established in 2021 as a core pillar of UAE Industry 4.0 initiative. Photo: MoIAT
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The UAE gathered representatives from 17 national and global companies involved in using the latest technologies to boost tech adoption in the industrial sector in an event hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology on Wednesday.

The network of “industry champions” includes Adnoc, Edge, Honeywell, Unilever, Schneider Electric, Emirates Global Aluminium, Cisco, Siemens, Aveva, SAP, Etisalat, IBM, Microsoft and Ericsson, with Strata, Huawei and PTC, the latest to join the group, the ministry said in a statement.

The representatives met government stakeholders and small and medium-sized enterprises during the Champions Network Assembly event to explore collaborative ways of accelerating the adoption of advanced technologies in the national industrial sector.

“The Champions Network Assembly has a crucial role in the UAE’s industrial sector, bringing together the most influential organisations to engage in exchanges that will contribute to the sector’s technological transformation,” said Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Future Technology, who attended the event.

As a result of this assembly, the sector will “benefit from new partnerships and collaborations that support the UAE’s Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Programme, Industry 4.0. The Champions Network Assembly, therefore, is a critical mechanism for achieving the objectives of the national industrial strategy”.

Strata, Huawei and PTC have joined the champions network. Photo: MoIAT

Launched by the ministry last year as part of the Projects of the 50, the Industry 4.0 initiative is designed to accelerate the integration of 4IR solutions and applications across the country’s industrial sector.

It is expected to improve the UAE’s overall industrial competitiveness, drive down costs, increase productivity and efficiency, improve safety and create new jobs.

The initiative aims to boost manufacturing by 30 per cent and add Dh25 billion ($6.8bn) to the country's economy by 2031.

The champions network, established in 2021 as a core pillar of UAE Industry 4.0 initiative, aims to support the creation of 100 “lighthouses” — categorised by the World Economic Forum as the 4IR organisations — by 2031 and attract 500 tech companies by the end of the same year.

“Industry 4.0 technologies such as cloud, AI [artificial intelligence] and IoT [Internet of Things] can deliver immense value to the UAE’s efforts to diversify its economy by accelerating the industrial sector,” said Jiawei Liu, chief executive of Huawei UAE.

“We are confident our … technologies and expertise will contribute to the Industry 4.0 champions network’s success and help the country achieve its digital transformation goals.”

During the event on Wednesday, 25 new technology pilots were launched and there was a focus on companies that have the “appetite and the potential to transform”, the statement said.

The champions network supports companies looking to use specific solutions, free of charge, to demonstrate the value of these technologies for decision-makers.

Emirates Development Bank also hosted a workshop of 48 companies that demonstrated interest in investing in technology following a recent survey. The bank works with the ministry to support companies to finance advanced technology projects by providing products such as asset-based financing, receivable financing, reverse factory and long-term financing among others.

The event also hosted a session on the digital maturity of the UAE’s manufacturing sector and panels on financing, sustainability and Edge's recently announced Learning and Innovation Factory (LiF).

The ministry is working with Edge to expand LiF, which provides an “immersive” environment to learn about advanced technology. The first phase includes a curriculum to support training and upskilling talent, the statement said.

The initiative will offer the Industry 4.0 module for chief executives covering lean, six sigma, lean digital, IoT and analytics. It also includes mid-management training with several modules on lean, six sigma and IoT.

“The [champions] network and the event are key to realising the full potential of UAE Industry 4.0,” Ms Al Amiri said.

“By implementing advanced technologies, we can create more efficiencies, enhance quality, boost productivity and increase competitiveness.”

She added that the ministry is committed to harnessing the strengths of each member of its industrial community in the UAE.

“Through initiatives like the Champions Network Assembly, we will continue to prioritise public and private sector collaborations that involve national and global organisations,” Ms Al Amiri said.

“Through the new partnerships forged by these projects, we will enhance the industrial sector’s digital maturity and support the objectives of the national industrial strategy.”

Updated: June 16, 2022, 2:48 PM
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