Siemens has announced that it will invest $500m in the Middle East in digital ventures.
The investment includes two ‘MindSphere' centres to develop IoT applications for vertical sectors, software grants for universities, development of hydrogen as a renewable energy source, and support for Expo 2020.
The investment was announced today at the Siemens Innovation Day, which was held in Dubai with Expo 2020 and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). Siemens was appointed Premier Partner for Intelligent Infrastructure & Operations for Expo 2020 last year.
The MindSphere Application Centres are being opened to support vertical development for Mindsphere, Siemens' open, cloud-based operating system for the Internet of Things (IoT).
Twenty MindSphere centres are planned worldwide, with two in the region, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The MindSphere Application Centre in Dubai will handle airports, logistics and cargo, while the Abu Dhabi centre will cater to process industries, mainly focusing on oil and gas, water and waste water.
Around 900 software developers, data specialists and engineers from Siemens will be based at the centre around the globe, to work together with Siemens customers to develop digital innovations for data analysis and machine learning.
MindSphere will also be deployed to support Expo 2020, with the aim of creating the "most connected expo ever", Siemens said.
"The Internet of Things has arrived and is set to transform industries and cities. However, many companies are still in the early stages of adopting digital strategies and incorporating them into their business models," said Roland Busch, Chief Technology Officer and Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG. "Siemens has reinvented itself into one of the world's top 10 software companies and is continuing to expand its digital capabilities. We see vast potential for the adoption of digital technologies in the Middle East and want to support the region's transformation in various ways, ranging from youth development to setting up our MindSphere Application Centers."
In co-operation with DEWA and Expo 2020 Dubai, the three parties have taken the first steps to develop a green hydrogen economy in the UAE. In February this year, the entities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to kick-off a pilot project for the region's first solar-driven hydrogen electrolysis facility. Planned to be located at DEWA's outdoor testing facilities at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, the project would aim to test and showcase an integrated MW-scale plant to produce hydrogen using renewable energy from solar photovoltaic panels at the Solar Park, store the gas, and then deploy it for either re-electrification, transportation or other industrial uses. The use of hydrogen technologies has the potential to accelerate renewable energy integration and deployment in the region and pave the way for the transition to a sustainable and green economy in the UAE.
Siemens is also providing software grants to university youth in the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The grants seek to develop the skills required to drive the region's digital transformation.
"Countries in the Middle East are at different stages of development and we are supporting their current and future needs. In addition to providing reliable and proven technology for power generation, transportation and city infrastructure, Siemens also believes knowledge transfer and developing local skills are top priorities. The software grants underscore our commitment to supporting the region's ambitions for diversified knowledge-based economies, powered by skilled local and world-class talent," said Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO of Siemens in the Middle East and UAE.