Mubadala Aerospace eyes investments in 3D printing, AI technologies

Mubadala Aerospace head Badr Al Olama said that 'urgent' action is required to address a growing skills gap created by emerging technologies
Mubadala Aerospace eyes investments in 3D printing, AI technologies
Badr Al Olama added that he believes that these modern technologies will create – rather than eliminate – jobs.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Tue 04 Dec 2018 10:09 AM

Mubadala Aerospace will increasingly look towards investments in “fourth industrial revolution” technologies such as 3D-printing and artificial intelligence-backed predictive maintenance, according to Badr Al Olama, the head of the organising committee of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) and head of Mubalada Aerospace.

In an interview with Arabian Business, Al Olama said that in the near future Mubadala Aerospace will “look to invest with technology-focused companies across the sector to innovate and develop a competitive value proposition for its customers to ultimately generate sustainable financial returns for our shareholder.”

“Consequently, we will be looking into 3D printing and robotics, advanced materials and predictive maintenance using artificial intelligence technologies,” he added.

Al Olama added that he believes that these modern technologies will create – rather than eliminate – jobs and lead to new “hybrid” roles in which skilled workers use technology to facilitate production, efficiency and decision-making.

“The introduction of robotics to the manufacturing sector, for example, allows higher levels of work flexibility as monotonous or repetitive tasks are overtaken by machines, allowing workers to focus on creative or competitive thinking,” he said.

As another example, Al Olama pointed to additive manufacturing which he said will “support more local and community-led manufacturing”, with benefits include more precision and less waste, reduced CO2 emissions and fewer transportation miles by printing onsite.

“Researchers anticipate that by 2030, the majority of private consumers in industrial countries will have additive manufacturing printers at home, which may shrink and scale down global supply chains,” he added.

“Therefore, it’s not just employment that will shift, but our relationship with manufacturing at its core.”

However, Al Olama said that while the development of new technologies can create “unprecedented opportunities” for the manufacturing workforce, the dramatic shift has also led to the emergence of a skills gap.

“To ensure the full scale of the [Fourth Industrial Revolution] is realised, particularly in the manufacturing sector, an international initiative to shift, train and retrain skills towards digitalisation is needed, urgently,” he said. “This is why it is so important to enable collaboration between stakeholders across the sector, including policymakers, the private sector and civil society leaders.”

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