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Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) Joins GE for 3D Printing R&D

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The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GE Additive (NYSE: GE) to collaborate on 3D printing, additive manufacturing and digital technologies for the forthcoming ‘Industrial Internet’. This is in line with DEWA’s vision to be a sustainable innovative world-class utility and strengthen the efficiency of electricity generation, distribution and transmission.

The MoU was signed at DEWA’s head office by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, and Mohamed Ehteshami, Vice President for Additive Integration at GE Additive.

“The ‘Dubai 3D Printing Strategy’, launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE 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,” said Al Tayer.

“Through our research and development initiatives, we are optimising the potential of 3D printing and other technologies, and we are currently working to establish an R&D centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, with a total investment of AED 500 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,” added Al Tayer.

As per the MoU, DEWA’s R&D Centre and Innovation and The Future Division will work closely with GE on embracing and encouraging disruptive innovation, and accelerating promising startups in new areas shaping the future of industry.  The partnership will span collaborative research and innovation to develop additive manufacturing technologies, rapid prototyping, digital technologies, including the Internet of Things and software development. This will support DEWA in its mission to deliver efficient, reliable and safe electricity and water services through smart future technologies.

Further, DEWA and GE will conduct research on digital technologies including artificial intelligence and robotics for enhanced productivity and efficiency, sustainability and energy efficiency, conventional and renewable technologies in power and water, smart grid integration and innovations for the utility of the future.

“The landmark MoU with DEWA marks a 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. Industrial Internet 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,” said Ehteshami.

The two entities will also integrate international perspectives and methodologies, as well as enhance the tools used for national, regional and global energy and climate change studies, co-ordinate joint research for specific studies that are identified, and create a highly leveraged partnership that utilises the expertise, experience, and capabilities of both entities for analysis and policy support.

“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,” added Ehteshami.

Additive manufacturing is a key part of GE’s evolution as a digital industrial company. In 2016, GE invested about US$4 billion to build out its analytics software and machine learning capability, and another US$1 billion to acquire shares in two great additive machine companies: Concept Laser and Arcam. The company also invests around US$500 million annually in advanced manufacturing and materials science at the its Global Research Centre, which has developed additive applications across six GE businesses, created new services applications across the company, and earned 346 patents in materials science.

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