Through Pilot Projects, GMIS will work with established manufacturing companies that are exploring specic challenges, and identify and facilitate exploratory partnerships with local manufacturers in response. Manufacturing companies will be invited to showcase new technologies that either have not yet been proven, or to demonstrate how an existing technology can be deployed in an unproven or untested sector. For example, 3D printing has not yet harnessed as a proven method of production beyond basic prototyping within the aerospace manufacturing sector, so Pilot Projects might identify a local manufacturer to work with partners to bring this innovation to market.
The central display of the GMIS Manufacturing Expo 2017, the “innovation circle” , showcased four multi-party projects that are exploiting the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) to advance manufacturing and industry in the UAE.
Strata, Etihad and Siemens are the lead companies presenting a first of its kind. Working to Etihad Engineering design data, Siemens have provided manufacturing integration and, for the first time in the Middle East, Strata have used 3D printing technology to manufacture an aircraft interior component, which is being certified in the UAE. This demonstrates a breakthrough in the UAE’s manufacturing capability, contributing to diversification
GMIS will sign a MOU signaling intent to work together with other UAE agencies to develop of a ‘micro-factory’ offering access to various additive technologies at a scale suitable for small production runs. This will be an accelerator for SMEs and start-ups that need to take prototypes to production, complementary to existing smaller scale facilities. The vision is for a suite of facilities open to inventors, start-ups and SMEs that will fuel the development of design and manufacturing capability in Abu Dhabi. GE will also describe a project with Emirates Postal Group to create a ‘mobile mailbox’ able to deliver services autonomously to businesses and the community.
Amana Group established DuBox as an open Innovation Centre where they are “bringing construction into the factory”. Teaming with Witteveen and Bos and Eindhoven University (Netherlands), they are demonstrating 3D printing of concrete, which will enhance the manufacturing process by bringing greater freedom to the designs that can be optimized and realized. The outcome will be efficiently produced, affordable, re-usable accommodation solutions that can be erected rapidly in remote areas or “mass customized” to increase consumer appeal.
The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology’s “CubeSat” programme is supported by Systems Loral (SSL), a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, and Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat). CubeSat is part of the Institute’s concentration in Space Systems and Technology for the United Arab Emirates and enables Master’s students to design, integrate, construct, test and subsequently operate a miniature satellite. The Masdar Institute was established by the UAE government in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and its research partners include New York University Abu Dhabi. Masdar will also exhibit student projects with applications as diverse as solar energy, infra-red-blocking glass, next generation catalytic convertors, and cosmetic treatments.