The largest innovation enabler in the world, Plug and Play, is set to launch a first-of-its-kind Industry 4.0 open innovation platform in Abu Dhabi, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO).
As part of the platform, key industry stakeholders and thought leaders from across Plug and Play Abu Dhabi's ecosystem will define tech challenges and innovation bottlenecks to be solved by startups as part of accelerator programmes and bespoke challenges. Plug and Play Abu Dhabi will also help to accelerate deployment of innovative pilots, tech integrations and new products.
The first-of-its-kind platform has been designed to boost Abu Dhabi’s industrial innovation capabilities and attract high-calibre tech startups to the emirate. It seeks to establish a stronger, unified marketplace and forum to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange across major industrial entities and exceptional technology startups, bringing real value and solutions in areas such as Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing, Storage, Telecommunications, Maintenance, Mobility, Logistics, Energy, Construction and Real Estate.
The joint effort between Plug and Play Abu Dhabi and ADIO is a part of a larger partnership agreement that focuses on enhancing the innovation scope in the region by accelerating opportunities for startups. The UAE has launched a new industrial strategy to increase contribution of the manufacturing sector from AED 133 billion to AED 300 billion in the national economy over the next 10 years, and this programme strives to support the vision by establishing a sustainable and open innovation platform for Industry 4.0 innovators. The open innovation platform further encourages ambitious projects, better policies, real economic value and global thought leadership.
H.E. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director General of ADIO, said: “The incredible progress that Abu Dhabi has made over the past decades can be traced to our ambition of driving progress through innovation. We want to support the startups and companies that are contributing to real and lasting change through the development of cutting-edge technologies and solutions. The open innovation platform will harness the power of collaboration to shape a brighter future on a global scale.”
“The inherent strengths of Abu Dhabi make it a perfect fit for an Industry 4.0 open innovation platform,” said Babak Ahmadzadeh, Director of Plug and Play Abu Dhabi. “The size, diversity and mindset of the industrial players in Abu Dhabi can be a powerful leverage to attract world-class tech startups to the emirate through collaboration opportunities yielding real business, co-creation and investments. This unique B2B tech startup market creation focused on Industry 4.0 will empower the emirate and the UAE to adopt transformative technology which can substantially increase productivity and competitiveness in many key sectors such as Manufacturing, Logistics, Energy, Food Security and Mobility.”
He added, "We are excited to play the long-term game focused on real value creation and sustainable organic growth with this Industry 4.0 open innovation and tech accelerator program. And whatever we build is designed and developed by our local private and public sector partners, for Abu Dhabi and the UAE. That has always been a bedrock to our approach. Tech adoption and digital transformation is a step-by-step process that requires a collaborative community. Above all, we at Plug and Play know we can support this tech transformation, as we have achieved it in 40+ countries every year through our 60+ programs working with 400+ of the most innovative corporations and government entities in the world."
Ahmadzadeh continued, "A great example is the STARTUP AUTOBAHN platform in Stuttgart, Germany, which is currently the largest mobility innovation platform in the world powered by Plug and Play. Five years ago, we started with only three partners: Mercedes-Benz, ARENA2036 and University of Stuttgart. Our first tech accelerator program was focused on very few specific tech challenges around consumer vehicle production for which we actively targeted, sourced, screened and accelerated a small number of the most suitable local and international tech startups to solve with our local partners. Through our structured and free-for-startups accelerator, Plug and Play worked hand-in-hand with our partners and cohort of startups to attain exceptional win-win outcomes through pilots, co-creation, investments and full tech integrations. Through the trust of our partners and consistency of delivering real business outcomes quickly, today we have more than 29 corporate partners (including Porsche, British Petroleum, Bosche, BASF, DPDHL), accelerated 178 startups and realized 287 innovative pilots across 70+ tech challenges. We did not only create real returns for our corporate partners and startups, but also created jobs, increased productivity and built a long-lasting growing tech ecosystem.”
Ahmadzadeh mentioned, “Abu Dhabi and the UAE are perfectly poised to be a globally recognized hub for tech startups, entrepreneurship and venture capital within 2 years. With the bold and ambitious leadership of the UAE, and the great aspirations of the dynamic and diverse people that reside here and have driven this young nation’s extraordinary growth, there is no reason why UAE cannot become the world leader in the 4th Industrial Revolution. We only need to come together to create the market and conditions needed for transformative tech collaborations and opportunities to thrive.”
As a dedicated supporter of Abu Dhabi’s socioeconomic initiatives since early 2018, Plug and Play remains a strong believer in the leadership of the UAE in the space of innovation. The finalizing of the founding anchor partners for this innovation platform is set to officially happen by the end of Q3 2021.