GMIS2021 calls for adopting 4th industrial revolution's tech to accelerate global recovery from pandemic

Doaa A.Moneim , Tuesday 23 Nov 2021

Public and private officials from all over the world asserted the necessity of adopting the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution under a global umbrella, as they are expected to accelerate the global recovery from the socio-economic implications of the pandemic and contribute to curbing the severe impacts of climate change, particularly in developing countries.

One of the sessions held in the second day of the GMIS2021 on Tuesday in Dubai..Photo:Al-Ahram

This took place in the second day of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS2021) that was held in Dubai at the Expo Dubai 2020 Exhibition Centre, which will conclude on 27 November.

Meanwhile, President of the United Nations General Assembly Abdulla Shahid said that developed countries have a responsibility to assist the technological advancement of more vulnerable nations to enhance their connectivity and capacity to innovate while also helping them transition to greener economies.

Shahid highlighted the stark discrepancies in technological capacity between the global north and south which have exacerbated the challenges faced by developing nations in their attempts to recover from the pandemic.

“I will do my utmost to ensure that we not only recover better and sustainably, but we do so equitably with no one left behind. COVID-19 caused massive disruption in manufacturing and supply chains, but this was on the horizon before the pandemic, and was mainly driven by the fourth industrial revolution, climate change, and the reconfiguration of globalisation,” he said.

“I call upon countries to invest in climate-friendly technologies that will spur recovery efforts by respecting our planet’s health and sharing these technologies with developing countries.”

Additionally, the former prime minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi, explained that COVID-19 pandemic provided a stress-test for governments and for health systems and that in many countries in the world, especially those considered liberal democracies, they were found wanting.

In the same vein, Fatima Al-Nuaimi, the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company Liquified Natural Gas (ADNOC LNG), stressed the positive impact of technology on increasing women’s inclusion in male-dominated sectors, such as oil and gas in the Arab world.

“Technology is going to play a key role in enabling the integration of more and more women into the LNG sector, which has traditionally had challenging workplace conditions for women to operate in, as we explore remote field operations and integrating AI for automation,” she added.

The launch of the ‘Global Initiative for Future Industrial Safety’ was also announced during the event.

It is an unconventional collaborative platform that will promote industrial safety technologies through policy responses, advancing best practices, and facilitating cross-sectoral collaboration, particularly in developing countries.

Launched in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, the initiative is anticipated to bring together a global coalition of public and private sector entities, academics, and civil society organisations to tackle these objectives by using the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution.

“Innovation is happening at a rapid pace, which means disruption not only surpasses safety, but produces uncertainty. Sharing knowledge and expertise, innovative approaches, and technologically driven solutions are critical to enable secure industrial safety globally,” said Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, managing director of the UNIDO’s Directorate of Digitalisation, Technology, and Agri-Business.

“Adopted at local, national, regional, and international levels, this newly emerging industrial safety paradigm will be decisive in addressing industrial safety and security risks, ensuring high productivity and efficiency of enterprises and preventing devastating disruptions, while boosting competitiveness and impacting economies and societies at large”,

He added that such an initiative carries a promise for developing universal standards and the state-of-the-art capabilities necessary to reinforce the safety of the workforce against rapid industrial technological advancements.

The initiative will act as an international platform to tackle new potential safety challenges brought about as a result of emerging technologies — such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and robotics — fill gaps in safety-related knowledge and awareness, tackle issues of transparency and openness in the industrial landscape, and gather new safety insights for business leaders and policy makers, he concluded.

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