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Siemens to invest $500mn on digital initiatives in the Middle East

The industrial conglomerate plans to establish the first two MindSphere application centres for digital applications in the UAE to transform data into real value

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The $500mn investment by Siemens is expected to boost digitalisation within the region's uitilities industry
Siemens AG
The $500mn investment by Siemens is expected to boost digitalisation within the region's uitilities industry

Siemens has announced plans to step up its digitalisation drive in the Middle East with an investment of $500mn over the next three years.

The move, expected to boost the rate of industrial digitalisation in the Middle East, was announced on Sunday at the Siemens Innovation Day, held in partnership with EXPO 2020 Dubai and Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA).

With the region expected to require 493 gigawatts (GW) of power generation capacity by 2035, an increase of 277GW on 2016 according to a recent Siemens report, digitalisation will play a crucial role in the integration of power from multiple sources.

The announced investment will include the establishment of MindSphere application centres, with two planned in the UAE and 20 in 17 countries within the region.

Each of the centres spans multiple locations in different countries and specialises in a particular industry in which Siemens is active.

At these centres, around 900 software developers, data specialists and engineers work together with Siemens customers to develop digital innovations for data analysis and machine learning.

These new solutions are being developed on MindSphere, Siemens’ open, cloud-based operating system for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Siemens is also investing in software grants aimed at boosting digital skills among youth in the region; establishing a hydrogen economy with the aforementioned partners; and helping create the most connected expo ever using the MindSphere system.

The Internet of Things has arrived and is set to transform industries and cities. However, many companies are still in the early stages of adopting digital strategies and incorporating them into their business models,” said Roland Busch, Chief Technology Officer and Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG.

“Siemens has reinvented itself into one of the world’s top 10 software companies and is continuing to expand its digital capabilities. We see vast potential for the adoption of digital technologies in the Middle East and want to support the region’s transformation in various ways, ranging from youth development to setting up our MindSphere Application Centers.”

As the Premier Partner for Intelligent Infrastructure & Operations, enabled and digitalized by the IoT operating system MindSphere, Siemens is supporting Dubai’s ambitions to create the most connected Expo ever with digitalization.

With MindSphere at the heart of this partnership, the parties are working closely to create a very unique exposition, in line with Dubai’s aspiration to become the smartest city in the world.

In co-operation with DEWA and Expo 2020 Dubai, the three parties have taken the first steps to develop a green hydrogen economy in the UAE.

In February this year, the entities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to kick-off a pilot project for the region’s first solar-driven hydrogen electrolysis facility. Planned to be located at DEWA’s outdoor testing facilities at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.

The project aims at testing and showcasing an integrated MW-scale plant to produce hydrogen using renewable energy from solar photovoltaic panels at the Solar Park, store the gas, and then deploy it for either re-electrification, transportation or other industrial uses.

The use of hydrogen technologies has the potential to accelerate renewable energy integration and deployment in the region and pave the way for the transition to a sustainable and green economy in the UAE.

Siemens is also providing software grants to university youth in the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The grants seek to develop the skills required to drive the region’s digital transformation.

“Countries in the Middle East are at different stages of development and we are supporting their current and future needs. In addition to providing reliable and proven technology for power generation, transportation and city infrastructure, Siemens also believes knowledge transfer and developing local skills are top priorities,” said Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO of Siemens in the Middle East and UAE.

“The software grants underscore our commitment to supporting the region’s ambitions for diversified knowledge-based economies, powered by skilled local and world-class talent.”

Over the past five years, Siemens has steadily increased its workforce in the region. The company has created on average135 jobs per year, leading to a current workforce of 8,029.

The company has also focused on strengthening its Research and Development (R&D) capabilities in the region, with two R&D hubs in Egypt and Pakistan, employing more than 500 people.

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