The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has announced the launch of an incentive porgramme and establishment of the Smart Manufacturing competence centre (SMCC). These initiatives aim to facilitate transition to smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0 as part of the 34 initiatives mapped out by ADDED’s Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) to achieve the objectives of Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy (ADIS).

The SMCC, the first-of-its-kind in the region will support the industrial sector transformation to industry 4.0 technologies.

Abu Dhabi SMCC will act as a catalyst for local and global industrial stakeholders to establish an innovative and sustainable ecosystem.

The ‘Smart Manufacturing Incentive Programme (SMIP) was launched to support transition of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the industrial sector to smart manufacturing and adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies.

SMIP will enable successful implementation of six transformational programmes of ADIS, namely Industry 4.0, Circular Economy, Talent Development, Ecosystem Enablement, Homegrown Supply Chain, and Value Chain Development.

Abu Dhabi is investing AED10 billion across these programmes to more than double the size of its manufacturing sector to AED172 billion, create 13,600 skilled jobs and increase the emirate’s non-oil exports to AED 178.8 billion by 2031.

The two new initiatives were announced at the sidelines of ‘Make it in the Emirates’ Forum, the premier event bringing together government entities, national and international industrial powerhouses, financial institutions, SMEs, and investors to explore investment opportunities and boost local content.

The event is co-hosted by ADDED, the catalyst for the Emirate’s economic growth, as part of its efforts to strengthen Abu Dhabi position as the region’s most competitive industrial hub, towards a diversified, smart, and sustainable economy.

Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), said, “With a vision to become one of the world’s leading industrial hub, the Abu Dhabi industrial sector continues to grow exponentially, driven by leading initiatives, agile policies, and access to financing, complemented with a robust industrial infrastructure. The launch of these two new initiatives is a valuable addition to our efforts to turbocharge the next phase of diversification strategy, as we believe supporting the transition to Industry 4.0 will positively contribute to driving innovation, enhancing growth of knowledge-based sectors, and increasing non-oil GDP”.

“The launch of ‘Smart Manufacturing Incentive Programme (SMIP), which includes an AED 500 million fund, reflects our efforts to provide financial support to SMEs manufactures’ transformation towards Industry 4.0 applications and create a favourable, enabling investment environment. This will ultimately enhance the industrial sector’s competitiveness, support the attraction of domestic and foreign direct investments, and cement Abu Dhabi’s status as a leading industrial powerhouse”.

He added, “We remain committed to empower entrepreneurs and investors to benefit from ample opportunities provided by Abu Dhabi’s robust, resilient, and business-friendly ecosystem, bolstering our efforts to achieve a comprehensive socio-economic development, which places human development, innovation, and sustainability at the top of its priorities”.

SMIP and SMCC are key initiatives announced by ADDED to drive the transformation to smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0 in Abu Dhabi. Here are the edited details:

Smart Manufacturing Incentive Programme:

The SMIP will support existing industrial SMEs in their transformation journey, from developing a transformation roadmap to implementation, aligning with short to long-term business goals.

IDB has designed the SMIP based on best practices, equipping industrial SMEs with knowledge, methodologies, and digital tools.
The 5-year programme aims to transform 30 percent of SMEs in Abu Dhabi's manufacturing sector into smart manufacturing operations.

SMIP targets industrial SMEs in subsectors such as food processing, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machinery, transportation, electrical, and electronics.

To support the transformation, IDB has invested in a team of assessors certified by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MOIAT) to provide technical guidance to eligible manufacturers through the Industrial Technology Transformation Index (ITTI).

The SMIP will be implemented in collaboration with Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED), acting as the operating entity and service provider.

Smart Manufacturing Competence Centre:

The SMCC is set to commence operations in Q1-2024 and will focus on accelerating the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, developing and scaling new technologies, and attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs).
The centre will provide manufacturers with detailed plans for their digital transformation, including training, workshops, innovation funding schemes, technical advisory services, and reliable testbeds.
SMCC will connect ecosystem stakeholders, aggregate smart manufacturing services, and foster knowledge exchange as a one-stop-shop for Industry 4.0 technologies.
Its aim is to help manufacturers navigate their digitization journey and drive growth and competitiveness.

ADDED has been actively rolling out initiatives aligned with the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy. These include land incentives programs, an expanded Energy Tariff Incentive Programme (ETIP 2.0), and collaborations with global institutions. IDB will lead the implementation of the SMIP and SMCC in close collaboration with manufacturers and ecosystem partners.