We discuss Dubai’s 3D Printing Strategy a lot here at 3DPrint.com…obviously. It was introduced in 2016, featuring a multi-tiered plan designed to make the UAE a global 3D printing leader. The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) recently began utilizing 3D printing technology for dental services and lightweight prosthetics, a 3D printed office building was unveiled in early 2016, and the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) is using 3D printing to improve public transportation. Recently, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GE Additive, to work together and research additive manufacturing, 3D printing, and digital technologies for the Industrial Internet, which is on point for DEWA’s vision of being an innovative and sustainable utility.
GE Additive Vice President for Additive Integration Mohamed Ehteshami and DEWA Managing Director and CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer met at DEWA’s head office to sign the MoU. The collaboration is expected to make the generation, distribution and transmission of electricity more efficient.
“The ‘Dubai 3D Printing Strategy’, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, is a unique global initiative that aims to exploit technology for the service of humanity and promote the status of the UAE and Dubai as a leading hub of 3D printing technology by 2030. We are working to keep pace with this strategy through accelerators and incubators that are creating prototypes, technological solutions and renewable energy technologies, in collaboration with the most successful international expertise,” Al Tayer said.
“Through our research and development initiatives, we are optimising the potential of 3D printing and other technologies, and we are currently working to establish a research and development, R&D, centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, with a total investment of AED500 million up to 2020. The work of the centre revolves around four main areas of operation, which include the production of electricity from solar energy, smart grid integration, energy efficiency, and water. The MoU with GE will enable us to develop ‘Made in Dubai’ future technologies that contribute to increased operational efficiency and productivity.”
The research aspect of the MoU will support DEWA’s goal to use smart future technologies to deliver reliable, safe, and efficient water and electricity services such as at the solar park. Both the newly inaugurated DEWA Innovation Center and The Future Division will work with GE, as part of the MoU, to accelerate industry startups and encourage disruptive innovation.
Ehteshami said, “As a leading utility provider focused on sustainability, renewable energy and smart grids, DEWA brings significant industry insights into the research that will help achieve new levels of power sector efficiency. We are honoured to partner with DEWA on this path-breaking initiative that will be a game changer for the utility sector globally.”
In addition to collaborative digital technology research on topics like additive manufacturing, smart grid integration, rapid prototyping, artificial intelligence and robotics, and both renewable and conventional power and water technologies, GE and DEWA will enhance tools used for climate change studies, integrate international methodologies and perspectives, and build a partnership that will properly use both entities’ capabilities, experience, and expertise to the best of their abilities for policy support and analysis.
“The landmark MoU with DEWA marks the first-of-its-kind partnership by GE in the region with a utility provider to collaborate and co-create 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies,” said Ehteshami. “Industrial lnternet and additive manufacturing are the next-generation technologies that bring unprecedented levels of productivity for our partners by developing complex industrial parts that are lighter, durable and more efficient with less waste.”
GE has been focusing on additive manufacturing and invested around $4 billion in 2016 to enhance its machine learning capability and analytics software, and another $1 billion to acquire shares in Concept Laser and Arcam AB. Its Global Research Centre, which the company invests around $500 million in each year, has earned 346 materials science patents, developed additive applications across six GE businesses, and created new services applications. So this new MoU with DEWA will be pretty mutually beneficial.