Siemens announced at its Innovation Day, plans to boost investments into its digital presence in the Middle East with $500m over the next three years.

Among these investments are the MindSphere Application Centres with two planned in the United Arab Emirates. Siemens is committed to setting up 20 of these MindSphere Application Centres in 17 countries. Each of the centres spans multiple locations in different countries and specialises in a particular industry in which Siemens is active.

At these centres, around 900 software developers, data specialists and engineers work together with Siemens customers to develop digital innovations for data analysis and machine learning. These new solutions are being developed on MindSphere, Siemens’ open, cloud-based operating system for the Internet of Things (IoT).

In the United Arab Emirates, the two new centres will be located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The MindSphere Application Centre in Dubai will handle airports, logistics and cargo to co-develop innovative approaches that improve the movement of people and goods. The centre will optimise the efficiency of logistics by leveraging advanced analytics and IoT solutions provided by Siemens. The other centre in Abu Dhabi will cater to process industries, mainly focusing on oil and gas, water and waste water, enabling customers to improve operational efficiency and reduce their costs across the whole value chain.

In addition, Siemens is investing in software grants aimed at boosting digital skills among youth in the region; establishing a hydrogen (H2) economy with partners Expo 2020 Dubai and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA); and helping create the most connected expo ever using the MindSphere system.

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Roland Busch, Chief Technology Officer and Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG, 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.”

“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 Centres,” Busch continued.

In co-operation with DEWA and Expo 2020 Dubai, the three parties have taken the first steps to develop a green H2 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 H2 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 H2 using renewable energy from solar photovoltaic panel at the Solar Park, store the gas, and then deploy it for either re-electrification, transportation or other industrial uses.

The use of H2 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.

Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO of Siemens in the Middle East and UAE, said, “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.”