Abu Dhabi has unveiled a new defence conglomerate focused on developing advanced technologies for cyber defence and national security solutions.
The new company, called EDGE, was inaugurated by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
According to reports, the organisations will partner with top industry-equipment manufacturers and defence companies to accelerate innovation to protect against cyber-attacks, drones, the spread of misinformation and other emerging threats to national security in the UAE and across the globe.
EDGE is consolidating more than 25 entities, including subsidiaries from the Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC), Emirates Advanced Investments Group (EAIG), Tawazun Holding, and other independent organisations.
EDGE will be spearheaded by Faisal Al-Bannai who has been appointed as the firm’s CEO and managing director. “EDGE will invest extensively across R&D, working closely with front-line operators to design and deploy practical solutions that address real world challenges,” he said.
“The solution to address hybrid warfare, lies at the convergence of innovations from the commercial world and the military industry. 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.”
EDGE will develop deeper partnerships with world-leading industry OEMs and defence contractors, the SME sector and academia alike. Accelerating the rate of innovation, it will also be attracting elite industry experts and talent from around the globe, to help on a wide spectrum of modern product development, ranging from ideation to building cross domain capabilities over its five core business clusters: Platforms & Systems, Missiles & Weapons, Cyber Defence, Electronic Warfare & Intelligence, and Mission Support.
The company is set to implement advanced technologies such as autonomous capabilities, cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, advanced propulsion systems, robotics and smart materials, with a focus on artificial intelligence across all its products and services.
Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, chief executive officer, Tawazun Economic Council (the UAE’s Defence Enabler), said, “We are invested in managing the uncertainty that technology brings by adapting our focus and capabilities towards a sustainable defence and security industry. EDGE will help us transform our domestic capabilities, while growing our engagements on defence and security exports.”
In 2018, the UAE topped the Global Innovation Index for the Arab world. EDGE aims to help the UAE to retain and expand that foremost position.