The United Arab Emirates is wading into a new adventure in its continuous march towards modernity after inaugurating “Edge,” which aims to make the UAE a prominent international player in the advanced defence and technology industry.
Edge was launched by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on November 5th, and the new UAE company had a broad impact in the international media.
As UAE led Arab countries in the 2018 Global Innovation Index, it has established the Edge group, which, according to Emirates News Agency (WAM), use technologies including robotics and advanced propulsion systems, as well as the internet, with a focus on sustainable security and defence sectors.
Twenty-two private firms will participate in the new company, in addition to the government-owned Emirates Defence Industries Company, the Emirates Advanced Investments Group, and Tawazun Holding.
Edge comprises of 25 technology companies specialised in the defence sector and employs some 12,000 people with quality and technical expertise in the defence industry.
The man selected to run Edge as both chief executive and managing director is Faisal Al Bannai, who was formerly a managing director at UAE cybersecurity company Dark Matter.
“The solution to address hybrid warfare lies at the convergence of innovations from the commercial world and the military industry,” Al Bannai said.
“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 added.
By launching Edge, the UAE is moving to achieve its ambitious goals to enhance the global competitiveness of its defence industries, access new markets, and become a regional centre for advanced defence technology by attracting leading companies in this promising strategic sector.
During the inauguration, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed highlighted the UAE's "strong will and unremitting efforts" to become a centre for advanced technology. Also, Tareq Al-Hosani, chief executive of Tawazun Economic Council, an industry enabler under Edge, said the group would help address the "unknown" made due to the use of technology and boost defence and security exports.
Edge to lead global defence innovation
International media highlighted the new company and lauded the UAE defence innovation and the leadership’s vision to move quickly to deter any future threats to national security.
Forecast International’s Defence & Security Monitor website has applauded Edge, saying the company is positioned to take advantage of the digital era, starting with breakthrough innovations in the defence sector. Russian news outlet Sputnik said that Edge is a part of the Gulf country’s campaign to diversify its economy, instead of relying solely on oil production.
CNBC said the company would look to help the UAE military in the region quickly get both the software and hardware that is needed to repel local threats.
Strategy of Edge
The Edge group's strategy is based on a number of fundamental principles including talent, partnership, and technological substitution. It works according to a new strategic vision that elevates the values of creativity, innovation, and development.
The group is also working to strengthen strategic partnerships with the world's leading companies in the field of defence, to benefit from its advanced expertise, with the aim of enhancing the UAE defence industry.