Sat 18-02-2017 21:09 PM

IDEX Conference 2017 tackles disruptive innovation in defence and security

ABU DHABI, 18th February, 2017 (WAM)--IDEX Conference 2017, part of the 13th edition of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2017) and the fourth edition of the Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX 2017) commenced today at the National Archives headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

The event attracted national and international defence policy makers and experts engaging in a lively debate over the most pressing topics in the industry.

Themed ‘Disruptive Innovation in Defence and Security’, the conference took place ahead of IDEX and NAVDEX 2017, which are set to draw the participation of 1,235 specialised local and international companies in the defence industry. This represents a three per cent growth compared to 2015, when 1,200 companies attended.

Organised by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) in collaboration with the UAE Armed Forces under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, IDEX and NAVDEX 2017 will run at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 19 to 23 February 2017.

Welcoming the keynote speakers and panellists, Mohammed Al Bowardi, UAE Minister of State for Defence, said, "It is my absolute honour to welcome you all here today. This year, IDEX will witness its 13th edition, and owing to the wise direction of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, it will be bigger than ever."

Re-affirming the importance of continuous development in the defence industry, he added, "Today’s conference provides a unique opportunity to further the development of defence capabilities. We will discuss the latest advancements in technology with a special focus on disruptive technology and their impact on our armed forces. We live at a time of rapid technological progress that manifests itself in areas such as robotics and 3D printing."

Speaking on the significance of state-of-the-art technology in the defence arena, he said, "Disruptive technology offers great advancements for our military institutions. However, in the hands of terrorists or enemies, it can yield results of catastrophic proportions. There is no other sector that witnesses changes at such rapid rate as the defence industry. This brings about continuous change in warfare parameters. Disruptive technology is what led to the rise of cyber warfare. Military institutions must employ skillful professionals to create the highest levels of competitive advantage. They need mechanisms that facilitate, monitor and understand disruptive technology and its impact on each and every one of us. In the UAE, our armed forces continuously aim to advance through introducing emerging technologies and developing human capital and know-how."

He added, "The UAE has made tremendous strides in fostering national defence companies. ADNEC in collaboration with the UAE Armed Forces have been monumental in driving today’s event and the subsequent exhibitions. Defence innovation, security and control are areas that need our undivided attention, expertise and ingenuity. Today, let us really think outside the box, share experience and come up with cutting-edge solutions."

In closing, Mohammed Al Bowardi said, "I look forward to the sessions, panels and deliberations today at IDEX Conference 2017. It is important to discuss and understand the new paradigm of military warfare."

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