Officials during the signing ceremony

The UAE has set an ambitious goal of establishing 100 Industry 4.0 (I4.0) lighthouse factories by 2030 as part of its drive to transform the country into a global hub for advanced manufacturing. This initiative, launched by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) under its Operation 300bn program, marks a significant step forward in the UAE's technological transformation.

The programme, aligned with MoIAT's broader Technology Transformation Program (TTP), is poised to position UAE-based manufacturers as global leaders in adopting cutting-edge technologies and sustainable manufacturing practices.



To drive the success of Transform 4.0, MoIAT has forged strategic partnerships with key industry players. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between MoIAT, Emirates Development Bank (EDB), and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) to provide comprehensive support for manufacturers' digital transformation initiatives.

EDB will play a critical role in the program by offering financing solutions to help manufacturers upscale their digitalization efforts. Meanwhile, du will serve as a technology partner, supporting manufacturers in developing and implementing their digitalisation roadmaps.

The first manufacturer to be onboarded onto the Transform 4.0 program was ACME, a company specialising in automation solutions. ACME signed an agreement with du and EDB during the MIITE Forum to kickstart its digital transformation journey under the program.



In addition to the strategic partnerships with EDB and du, MoIAT has also collaborated with Industry Apps, a newly established UAE-based company that supports companies in raising their digital maturity. Under the agreement, companies enrolled in the Transform 4.0 program will have access to Industry Apps' comprehensive suite of digital tools and services, worth an estimated AED 5.5 million, to help streamline their digital transformation efforts.

These partnerships underscore MoIAT's commitment to creating a robust digital ecosystem that empowers manufacturers of all sizes to adopt cutting-edge technologies and stay at the forefront of Industry 4.0 developments.



Beyond the initial ACME partnership, Transform 4.0 has already onboarded several other leading manufacturers in the UAE, including Hotpack Global, Mercatus MEA, Modern Plastics Industries, Hempel Paints, Ittihad Paper Mill (IPM), HIRA Industries, Star Paper Mill, Abu Dhabi Precast, Emirates Float Glass, Lipton, IPM, Al Gharbia Pipeline, Aquachemie, iPlast, Aswan Engineering, Agthia Group, Masafi, and Union Copper Rod.

These companies will serve as the foundation for the UAE's network of I4.0 lighthouses, showcasing best practices and innovative solutions that can be replicated by other manufacturers across the country. MoIAT's technology partners, including Maxbyte, Precast, and du, have collectively contributed AED 10 million worth of services to support the Transform 4.0 program.



Alongside the Transform 4.0 initiative, MoIAT has also announced a strategic partnership with EDB to launch a $100 million (AED 370 million) financing solution for the new AI Innovation Program. This program aligns with the ministry's efforts to boost innovation, accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies in industry, and create new industries underpinned by cutting-edge technologies.

The AI Innovation Program aims to foster collaboration between prominent industry players and technology developers to harness the power of AI in addressing the most pressing industrial challenges. By providing a platform for knowledge sharing and removing financial barriers, the program will enable the development and implementation of customised and novel AI solutions, further positioning the UAE as a competitive player within the technology development space.



The importance of AI in transforming the UAE's industrial landscape was further highlighted at the MIITE Forum, where industry experts emphasised the catalytic role of AI in boosting productivity, flexibility, and sustainability over the next decade.

In a fireside chat, Faisal Al Bannai, Advisor to the UAE President on Strategic Research and Advanced Technology Affairs, underscored the UAE's policies and investments in solidifying its position as a global leader in AI. He discussed the launch and ongoing development of the Falcon large language model (LLM), as well as the importance of international cooperation in promoting AI across various sectors.

Al Bannai's remarks underscore the UAE's commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technologies, such as AI, to drive industrial efficiency and enhance the competitiveness of local industries, further supporting the goals of Operation 300bn.

The UAE's industrial sector has become a focal point for investment, with advanced manufacturing facilities, innovation hubs, and specialised industrial zones across the country attracting significant capital. This investment trend underscores the UAE's growing appeal as a destination for industrial development and technological transformation.