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Tue 28 Mar 2017 02:08 PM

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UAE to launch microfactories to revolutionise manufacturing

Abu Dhabi and Dubai to set up facilities to accelerate new manufacturing technologies including 3D printing

UAE to launch microfactories to revolutionise manufacturing

The UAE's first microfactories are being established in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to accelerate new manufacturing technologies including 3D printing.

Mubadala Development Company, the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company, the Dubai Future Foundation and GE Additive are uniting to drive revolutionary additive design, customer innovation, digital manufacturing technologies and access to global problem solving within the UAE.

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.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit in Abu Dhabi.

The Microfactory is expected to play a crucial role in the upscaling of design and manufacturing capabilities in the UAE and the broader region, a statement said.

It added that the new initiative aims to allow 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.

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

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, said: “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.”

Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Group CEO and managing director at Mubadala, added: “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.

“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.”

Beth Comstock, vice chair, GE, said: “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.”

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