Al-Ageel: Knowledge transfer and its role in supporting manufacturing plans in the Gulf
The Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) participated in the 21st Arab-German Business Forum held on the 26th and 27th of June 2018 at the Ritz-Carlton in Berlin, Germany. The forum was sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Germany. It was organised by the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with the Federation of GCC Chambers (FGCCC), the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) and Kuwait’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The guest of honour was His Highness Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait, one of the main partners of the forum.
His Excellency Mr. Abdulaziz Bin Hamad Al-Ageel, GOIC Secretary General, delivered a presentation tackling “knowledge transfer and its role in supporting manufacturing plans in the GCC.”
Mr. Al-Ageel talked about the main drivers behind industrial knowledge transfer. He stressed that this process reflects the capacity of countries to determine, attract, structure, acquire and disseminate necessary knowledge to improve the country’s innovation, productivity and economic growth. He added: “Many countries succeeded in providing necessary support for knowledge transfer, notably Germany, Ireland and Singapore.”
Mr. Al-Ageel said the key motivators to transfer knowledge include education system needs, the necessity of liaising between universities and innovation, digitising knowledge and information, creating business environments fostering entrepreneurship, establishing specialised industrial zones, providing institutional support to transfer knowledge and its scope, classifying countries and being capable of monitoring and evaluating.
GOIC Secretary General highlighted the German experience: Germany focused on creating knowledge through tripartite partnerships between the government, the business sector and universities. In addition to that, Germany dedicated many government funds to research and development in knowledge intensive sectors and practical and focused knowledge transfer to vocational training with multinationals. Furthermore, Germany endeavoured to attract research talents, create green industrial funds that draw technology multinationals and create an industrial association with global ties.
Mr. Al-Ageel also mentioned GCC countries’ need of German technology in the industrial sector, particularly in the area of industrial digitisation. This includes providing solutions to switch conventional manufacturing lines in GCC countries to Industry 4.0 practices encompassing cloud computing, smart sensors, robotics, integrated logistics and additive manufacturing. It also includes aluminium and high performance plastics applications for automotive components, especially products manufacturing using additive processes, smart controls applications for the new rail and metro networks in the GCC, particularly on passenger stations and cargo ports. Mr. Al-Ageel added: “GCC countries’ needs also include advanced solar system solutions, especially for systems that can work in harsh environments of high temperature, dust and humidity, new technologies in plastic recycling, notably plastic used in food and beverage industries for complete circular usage, specialty chemicals, particularly chemicals used in oil and gas applications such as clay stabilizers and corrosion inhibition and H2S control and CO2 removal. We can also benefit from the German experience in the field of biomedical and medical devices in general.”
Moreover, Mr. Al-Ageel went through the services offered by GOIC to industrial investors by preparing manufacturing investment opportunities specifying economically feasible investments in various industrial sectors, such as the smelting of basic metals like aluminium, magnesium and copper, requiring huge investments and partnership between the public and private sectors for implementation. This would open the door to investments in many complementary knowledge-based industries; the production of catalysts, building chemical materials and engineering plastics in the chemical sector; the extraction of edible oils, meat processing and production in the processed food industry, knowing that investment opportunities in this sector are often medium investments and the private sector can implement them.
Mr. Al-Ageel added: “GOIC provides sub-contracting and partnerships through the interactive Gulf Sub-contracting and Industrial Partnership Exchange (GSPX) network, which aims to reinforce production and marketing capabilities of industries in GCC countries. GOIC also provides industrial technical assistance to overall technical measuring and evaluation of small and medium institutions in order to increase their competitive capabilities, through evaluation of production costs, quality control and environmental issues. It provides industrial and socio-economic information through an industrial market intelligence portal, the entryway to the industrial, economic and social data of member states and the overall tool to deliver information to online users.”
Mr. Al-Ageel concluded by tallying GOIC’s most important achievements, including:
Preparing an industrial map for the GCC; identifying missing industries and industrial opportunities; providing more than 470 investment opportunities for GCC countries through its Manufacturing Investment Opportunities Program (MIOP); conducting more than 485 industrial reports and multi-client studies in the petrochemical, metal, engineering industries and building materials sectors, among others; conducting more than 58 sector-specific reports for GCC countries in the petrochemical, chemical, metals, food industry and appliances, and equipment industry sectors, among others; and organising more than 350 specialized industrial and economic meetings on different areas of cooperation, coordination and training.