As part of its preparations for the last barrel of oil coming out of the country in the future, Abu Dhabi launched a new holding firm EDGE in a glittering ceremony last week that will combine its defence and technology firms to create one of the biggest defence groups in the Middle East.
The new holding firm will put 25 companies, including businesses that were once under Emirates Defence Industries Co, under its umbrella, disclosed the CEO and Managing Director Faisal Al Bannai.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces inaugurated the new entity, a company set to reposition the UAE as a notable global player in advanced technology and defence industry.
Speaking to the media after the launch Faisal Al Bannai revealed that EDGE would invest extensively across R&D, working closely with front-line operators to design and deploy practical solutions that address real world challenges.
Adding “The solution to address hybrid warfare, lies at the convergence of innovations from the commercial world and the military industry. Established with a core mandate to disrupt an antiquated military industry generally stifled by red tape, EDGE is set to bring products to market faster and at more cost-effective price points.”
Al Bannai has been appointed to lead EDGE, based on his start-up background and proven track record in leveraging emerging technologies to expand business opportunities at home and abroad.
In contributing to innovation and advanced technology growth, EDGE will develop deeper partnerships with world-leading industry accelerating the rate of innovation, it will also be attracting elite industry experts and talent from around the globe, to help on a wide spectrum of modern product development, ranging from ideation to building cross domain capabilities over its five core business clusters: Platforms & Systems, Missiles & Weapons, Cyber Defence, Electronic Warfare & Intelligence, and Mission Support.
The company is set to implement advanced technologies such as autonomous capabilities, cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, advanced propulsion systems, robotics and smart materials, with a focus on artificial intelligence across all its products and services.
In 2018, the UAE topped the Global Innovation Index for the Arab world. Edge aims to help the UAE to retain and expand that foremost position. Abu Dhabi, home to about 6 percent of global oil reserves, is stepping up efforts to consolidate its entities as the emirate adapts to lower oil prices.
It has combined banks and sovereign wealth funds, as well as joined 11 entities, including ports and airports, under Abu Dhabi Development Holding Co.