Bahrain has launched an initiative to support its manufacturing sector as the world moves closer towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The initiative is known as iFactories and will assess factories’ readiness and digital maturity while allowing businesses to invest in new infrastructure and manufacturing automation technologies.
Abdullah bin Abdel Fakhro, Bahrain’s Minister of Industry and Commerce, said the initiative aims to transform 300 manufacturing facilities into smart factories by 2026.
The initiative will use a four-step process:
- Evaluation by the ministry with technical assistance to conduct self-evaluation.
- Evaluation by a team of accredited evaluators.
- Empowerment, involving the factory creating a digital transformation plan.
- Development, with the ministry monitoring the transformation process.
Dr. Khaled Fahad Al Alawi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industrial Development, explained that smart factories would be evaluated using the SIRI index, an international standard based on applying practices and tools centered around the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The latest initiative is part of broader plans to drive growth by modernizing Bahrain’s industrial sector and encouraging businesses to automate and expand their operations.
Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 To Help Climate Technology Startups
The initiative was announced at the COP28 summit and will help selected startups with a $200,000 cash injection and further incentives.
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global technology system, has launched a new initiative to support climate technology startups backed by several of the UAE’s largest public and private sector organizations.
A total of 342 startups have submitted applications so far, with the top companies being added to a shortlist that will be revealed shortly. Selected startups will receive Dh250,000 ($68,000) in incentives and an upfront cash support package of Dh250,000. In addition, the top performers of Hub71’s new initiative will also receive a top-up of up to Dh250,000 in exchange for additional equity.
Ahmad Alwan, deputy chief executive of Hub71, said: “This initiative aims to bring in different entities that have a shared mission towards climate tech […] Throughout the journey, we will support these companies, not only from being startups to becoming mature companies but also to facilitate their engagement with entities that would support them with access to capital, market, and talent”.
The Hub71+ ClimateTech ecosystem is backed by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and the National Central Cooling Company, who have each pledged Dh500,000 to the initiative as anchor partners.
They are joined by corporate partners, including Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, Aldar Properties, sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Masdar City, and Dubai’s Emirates NBD. In addition, Siemens Energy is also onboard as an anchor partner.
So far, Hub71 has helped 260 member startups and created over 1,000 jobs, according to the organization’s website. In addition, it has collectively raised around Dh5 billion since its foundation in 2019.