Modern technologies can help alleviate poverty, says Mubadala Aerospace head

The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity has called for innovators to help solve real-world problems such as sustainable agriculture in rural areas
Modern technologies can help alleviate poverty, says Mubadala Aerospace head
Badr Al-Olama, the head of the organising committee of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) and head of Mubadala Aerospace.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Tue 11 Dec 2018 10:22 AM

Modern manufacturing technology and the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” may help the world meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set in 2015, according to Badr Al-Olama, the head of the organising committee of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) and head of Mubadala Aerospace.

In an interview with Arabian Business, Al-Olama said that the potential for sustainable development in many countries “is stymied by severe structural impediments and their vulnerability to economic and environmental shifts and shocks.”

“This is the situation more than 880 million people, about 12 percent of the world’s population, face,” he said.

In a bid to help solve some of these issues, GMIS has launched an initiative called the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity, which seeks to unite manufacturers, innovators and entrepreneurs with UN agencies, academics and philanthropists improve the lives of people around the world through ‘making’.

The objective of the initiative, as Al-Olama explained, is to create an ecosystem that is built on collaboration and partnerships that can serve to empower members of society through design, manufacturing, technology and innovation.

“Our objective is to ensure that the transformation of manufacturing not only equips the sector to thrive amid the disruptive change brought about by the 4IR, but that this transformation happens in alignment with the SDGs,” he said.

“Ideas will be channelled, developed, perfected and progressed to the point where they are more than just ideas, bringing real benefit to those who need it most.”

To this end, the initiative has created a programme called the ‘Global Makers Challenge, an online platform that offers innovators to connect with each other and solve real-world problems pertaining to four distinct themes: sustainable energy, energy divide and digital literacy, rural transformation and zero hunger and sustainable cities.

Challenge award winners can win up to $1 million in prizes for their projects.

As an example of the possibilities, Al-Olama pointed to the theme of rural transformation.

“We have asked our community of makers to consider how farmers in less developed countries can increase food and cash crop yields through advanced methods of sustainable agricultural and preservation,” he said. “The solutions will allow for the production of higher yield crops with less land, water and labour and improve coordination within the value chain of rural farmers.”

Additionally, Al-Olama said that the solutions could also bolster sustainable food production, reduce post-harvest losses and facilitate market access for farmers.

“It will also increase access to such technologies for vulnerable populations, especially women,” he said.

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