Tue 28-03-2017 18:14 PM

Region's first microfactories in the UAE launched

ABU DHABI, 28th March, 2017 (WAM) -- Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development Company, the Dubai Future Foundation and GEAdditive are uniting their collective expertise behind the establishment of the first Microfactory in the region, seeking to accelerate revolutionary additive design, customer innovation, digital manufacturing technologies and access to global problem solving within the United Arab Emirates.

The Microfactory is expected to play a crucial role in the upscaling of design and manufacturing capabilities in the UAE and the broader region, allowing for the merger of innovative and forward thinking ideas with the ability to use cutting edge additive manufacturing technology in the production of specialised components, the three organisations said in a statement.

The Microfactory is able to bridge the gap to production through small batch manufacturing and would support ecosystem development, customer co-creation and unlocking new growth sectors.

A memorandum of understanding was signed at the inaugural Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS 2017) in Abu Dhabi was signed by Mohamed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs in the Federal Government of the UAE and Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at Mubadala, and Beth Comstock, Vice Chair, GE.

Coupled with the use of open innovation and on-demand crowd-sourcing aimed at solving key regional challenges, this MoU serves an integral role in the lead up to the realisation of UAE’s Vision 2021 of diversifying and supporting the advancement of industrialisation, localisation and manufacturing.

The goal is to build both an Abu Dhabi-based Microfactory focused on serving industrial companies, as well as a Dubai-based Microfactory focused on serving consumer goods and services companies.

"As a nation, our remit is a clear one: identify and act upon unique and sustainable partnerships that provide significant advancements across all sectors, in line with Vision 2021," said Al Gergawi. "The leadership of the UAE is a firm believer in the exceptional opportunities presented by a proactive and future focused strategy, enabling individuals, companies, sectors and the nation to progress through the use of innovative and collaborative tools and platforms. These Microfactories are a glimpse of what the future represents, combining innovation and educational ecosystems with fast, efficient and sustainable manufacturing capabilities. The possibilities are truly limitless."

"Manufacturing across many sectors has contributed to the diversification of our economy, and a number of Mubadala’s portfolio companies have made great strides in using collaboration and innovation to deepen manufacturing expertise," said Khaldoon Al Mubarak. "This partnership with the Dubai Future Foundation and GE on these innovative micro-factories has the potential to further this expertise and enhance the country's competitive edge."

The ability to continuously originate products will help to burgeon the UAE’s already expanding innovation ecosystem, driving new and unique collaborations aimed at supporting the nation’s drive toward its Vision 2021.

"The ability to partner with both Mubadala and the Dubai Future Foundation – two entities which enjoy an amazing track record in advancing emerging technologies and levelling up innovation platforms within the region – is truly exceptional," said Comstock. "We share a significant history of working toward projects that advance the region, and these Microfactories continues that rich tradition. It will support the growth of entrepreneurs and SMEs in the digital industrial space, building a local ecosystem and community of suppliers across the key industries. GE is thrilled to partner once again in accelerating the use of this game-changing technology."

Members of GE Additive’s engineering team will also be working closely with companies from the region across several industrial sectors, offering best practices in how to design and manufacture components using the additive process, whilst GE’s Fuse team will recruit the expert community and coordinate the collaboration on innovation missions.

The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS 2017), taking place in Abu Dhabi from 27th to 30 March, offers a voice and a venue for leaders with a vision to shape the future of manufacturing with a hand-selected audience of over 1,200 delegates including government leaders, Ministers, policy makers and C-Suite executives from Global 2000 Companies. WAM/ MMYS

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