ABU DHABI, 20th February, 2021 (WAM)– The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) hosted the third session of its Future of Industry Dialogue series. Convening relevant local and international entities and academia invested in advanced technology, the virtual meeting discussed ways to boost the contribution of the advanced technology sector to the UAE’s GDP.
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Cabinet Member and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, met with senior representatives of the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), Mubadala, Strata, Masdar, the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), G42, GE, Siemens Energy, Honeywell, Oracle, Unilever, Google, and Cisco.
During the meeting, the ministers reviewed the milestones achieved by the participating entities and were briefed on their future plans. In addition, the meeting discussed how advanced technology could aid post-COVID-19 recovery and pave the way for alternative business models in the future.
In his opening remarks, Dr Al Jaber said: “Technology companies have played a vital role in ensuring the UAE’s resilience during this exceptional time. COVID-19 has completely transformed the way we use technology – from working remotely to exploring virtual solutions in healthcare to the enhanced uptake for e-commerce and distance learning, among others.”
The Minister added: “During this time of rapid transformation, the UAE was able to quickly pivot to the new normal following the initial outbreak of the pandemic. This agility can be attributed in large measure to the continuous investments in advanced technology and artificial intelligence (AI), as well as to our strategic partnerships with the private sector.”
Dr Al Jaber emphasized that the UAE has begun to build cutting-edge infrastructure, develop agile policy frameworks and shape cybersecurity regulations to spur future industrial growth through leveraging 4IR solutions.
The Minister encouraged advanced technology entities to enhance their contribution to the national research and development (R&D) program through sustained educational initiatives and research grants that enable young Emiratis to kickstart their careers in these vital fields. He confirmed that MoIAT will continue to support all concerned entities in localizing knowledge and implementing 4IR solutions.
For her part, Al Amiri, said the Future of Industry Dialogue underscores the Ministry’s commitment to collaborating with local and international entities and partners in the field of advanced technology. She noted that advanced technology and future focused industries are a national priority for the UAE in navigating post COVID-19 recovery.
The Minister pointed out that the pandemic has greatly accelerated the UAE’s shift to a knowledge-based economy driven by 4IR technologies. Although this model already existed prior to the pandemic, it gained momentum in the UAE and in other countries as a direct outcome of the disruption and digital acceleration during the pandemic.
Al Amiri said: “For years, the UAE has worked to lay the groundwork for a highly-advanced digital infrastructure that enabled the government to continue its work efficiently during the pandemic – a prime example of the success of the UAE’s visionary leadership in turning challenges into opportunities.
“Recognising that the future focuses on knowledge, R&D, and technology, the UAE has established MoIAT to realize its ambition to lead 4IR and fast-track the transition to a knowledge-based economy.”
Al Amiri noted that this approach will play an important role in realizing MoIAT’s endeavors to lead, shape, and establish the industries of the future such as space and medical technology. Also, it will enable the deployment of advanced technologies in the fields of water and food security and drive further diversification of energy sources. The Minister stressed that this transformation is possible only through putting a comprehensive ecosystem in place.
Al Amiri explained that MoIAT’s mandate is to transform existing sectors through encouraging and facilitating the adoption of advanced technologies. In addition to boosting productivity, this will create high-skilled jobs and shape an enabling environment for innovation and technological entrepreneurship.
During the meeting, Al Amiri pointed out that the Ministry seeks to raise awareness about 4IR concepts and principles and support the full deployment of 4IR technologies to enhance industrial processes and attract long-term ROI.
MoIAT launched the high-level Future of Industry Dialogue initiative, a series of ongoing high-profile virtual meetups, in February 2021 with the aim of establishing a new collaborative framework to build long-term synergies between government and industry.
Reflecting the UAE’s commitment to developing the national industrial ecosystem, the Future of Industry Dialogue focuses on identifying and mitigating sector-specific challenges. In addition, it looks into developing innovative regulatory, logistical, and financing frameworks to drive sustainable industrial development and pave the way for the country to achieve its aspirations in a post-COVID-19 world.
The full list of participants in MoIAT’s third Future of Industry Dialogue included Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General, ATRC, Badr Al Olama, Executive Director –Mubadala Investment Company, Ismail Ali Abdulla, CEO of Strata, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO, Masdar, Dr Eric Xing, President of MBZUAI, Peng Xiao, Group CEO, G42, Dr Dalya Al Muthanna, President – Gulf, GE International Markets, Dietmar Siersdorfer, Managing Director – Middle East, Siemens Energy, Norm Gilsdorf, President, Honeywell High Growth Regions, Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, Senior Vice President – MEA & CEE, Oracle, Yasir Jamal, Vice President – Supply Chain, Unilever, Selim J Eddé, Director & Head of Government Affairs & Public Policy, Google Middle East and North Africa, and Reem Asaad, Vice President – Middle East & Africa, Cisco.
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