The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, represented in the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB), had announced the launch of the Smart Manufacturing Project which supports the adoption of new manufacturing technologies by the manufacturing facilities. The project aims to develop and enhance the productivity of manufacturing enterprises in Abu Dhabi, also, the project works to accelerate the commercial business growth. As well as contributing to strengthening the technical and technological capacities of the industrial sector labor force, in turn, will improve the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector of the emirate.

His Excellency Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, ADDED’s Undersecretary, stated that the “Smart Manufacturing Project” comes under the umbrella of ADDED’s important strategic initiatives for enhancement and diversification of the economy of Abu Dhabi. The initiative encourages the industrial facilities in the emirate to adopt the Industry 4.0 applications, by providing new financing solutions through the commercial banking system to fund the transformation of factories into Industry 4.0 technology, and also makes a chance for the advanced technology providers to offer their services to the industrial sector.

His Excellency, the Undersecretary of ADDED, said that the project specified a number of KPIs to ensure the achievement of its objectives, mainly; increase in financing opportunities by local banks and banks specialised in industrial financing, with a special focus on the sectors adding high value, as well as implementing several awareness programmes and workshops.

Further to the above, H.E. the Undersecretary pointed out that the “Smart Manufacturing Project” targets to help raise the efficiency of the Abu Dhabi-based industrial facilities, and their contributions in the emirate’s GDP and revolutionalising the Abu Dhabi industrial sector on the regional and international levels based on the adoption of the Industry 4.0 criteria applied in the Major Industrial Countries.

For his part, H.E. Mohammed Munif Al Mansouri, Executive Director of the IDB, said that it is scheduled to receive the requests of the industrial facilities to register in the project by next February. These requests will be subject to technical assessment by the IDB as per the defined criteria of the Smart Manufacturing Project. Next to this, the requests will be added to TAMM’s financial platform.

He added: “the IDB named its strategic partners for this project which are some commercial banks and a consulting firm to provide technical support to the project.” Al Mansouri pointed out that the project targets some industrial sectors, namely: food, chemical, electronic and electrical, pharmaceutical and transportation industries.

Al Mansouri, specified the project phases stating that the first phase of the Smart Manufacturing Project will focus on the new and existing industrial projects, especially the small-sized enterprises (with annual returns less than AED 50m and workforce size ranging between10 to 100 employees), in addition to the medium-sized projects (with annual returns less than AED 250m and workforce size ranging between101 to 250 employees).

On the project’s criteria, Al Mansouri said that the most important criterion for the transformation of the industrial facility is its technical aptitude for the adoption of smart manufacturing. He added that this indicator help analyses the three main foundations of Industry 4.0 which are: the processes, the technology, and the organisational structure; pointing out that the IDB’s assessment processes contribute to the comprehension of the smart manufacturing criteria by the industrial facilities.