> Many companies are now more focused on finding a balance between sustainability goals and equally considering people and profit
> Retooling amidst the pandemic keeps companies engaged and motivated
– While much of the world remains under lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) recently organised a webinar to share insights on ‘How Advanced Industrial Technologies are Reinventing themselves in Current Times’.
Speakers at the webinar were Hussain Mohammed Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTIP;
Fahmi Al-Shawwa, CEO and founder at Immensa Technology Labs; and Sophie Smith, co-founder and CEO at Nabta Health. They talked about strengthening the competitive position of advanced, traded-sector industries.
Even before the pandemic, Al Mahmoudi noted, there has always been a competitiveness challenge in the advanced industries that are most critical to every country’s wellbeing and economic security.
“Now, more than ever, because of the challenges posed by the global pandemic, there has to be a pioneering approach to innovation in the region, where knowledge, research and commercial development are creatively designed to make technologies sustainable,” Al Mahmoudi underlined.
Al Mahmoudi said SRTIP is consistent with its role in looking to host companies that provide the key technologies that can be further enhanced to meet global needs, as well as nurture entrepreneurs’ and students’ ideas with strong potentials to benefit many and help address present and future challenges.
“As an accelerator for technologies and services, SRTIP is keen on exploring key solutions in renewable energy, infrastructure, education, healthcare, and food and water resources,” he added.
Sharing his insights, Al Mahmoudi noted that venture funding has seen a record year in 2019 in terms of number of deals in MENA-based startups. The disclosed funding has risen from $138 million in 2015 to $294M in 2016; $435M in 2017; $557M in 2018 and $643M in 2019.
Fourth Industrial Revolution
“Industry 4.0 technology is changing the game,” said Al Mahmoudi, adding: “Many companies are now more focused on the fragile balance of sustainability goals, profit and protecting people and planet.”
Al Mahmoudi said SRTIP can help companies meet their key objectives by building an innovative ecosystem and supporting high growth potential enterprises leading to economic development.
Several sectors pose long-term and sustainable revenue stream for socio-economic development. These include, based on Middle East Business Intelligence report, Environmental Technology ($130 Billion); Renewable Energy ($220 B) Digitization-MENA ($200B); Mobility, Logistics and Smart Cities ($80B); Production, Design and Architecture $300B; and Water Technology ($120B)
Sustainability and profitability amidst COVID-19
Speakers at the webinar also talked about forming collaborative relationships with various industries “to grow knowledge-intensive businesses with the potential to create a long-term, sustainable revenue stream for socio-economic development.”
They noted that the global automation industry further accelerated due to a growing convergence of technologies including artificial intelligence, cloud computing and Internet of Things.
Sophie Smith, co-founder and CEO at Nabta Health, noted how transparent collaboration, dynamic IP allocation and augmented intelligence have built a decentralised, peer-to-peer network for clinical research and best practice.
This localised innovation has contributed in error mitigation and improving primary health care. Several labs are working on testing a novel stabilising method for blood, plasma, RNA and DNA at high temperatures to further study COVID-19.
Fahmi Al-Shawwa, CEO and founder at Immensa Technology Labs, also saw opportunity amidst the global health crisis.
While projects across the board where being delayed and deliveries postponed, his company has rapidly regrouped, brainstormed ideas and mobilised to address an opportunity.
At present their company is among the first in the market to develop face shields – currently producing over 25,000+ face shields a week. Production has rapidly ramped up with same quality standard.
Meeting present and future challenges
SRTIP is poised to become a global hub for strategic solutions in crisis situations.
COVID-19 has changed how companies are now operating but SRTIP has always been ready support companies and organizations with innovative solutions.
Al Mahmoudi concluded: “We are looking to host companies that provide the key technologies that can be further enhanced to meet global needs and help address present and future challenges, particularly in renewable energy, infrastructure, education, healthcare, and food and water resources.”