Aerospace Research and Innovation Center

Khalifa University and Mubadala Formalize R&D Collaboration for Future

November 20, 2019
  • Aerospace Research and Innovation Center (ARIC) is expanding on its strong foundation to leverage the possibilities of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)
  • ARIC to continue accelerating the development of the UAE’s aerospace industry

Khalifa University and Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign investor, have signed an agreement to expand their industry-leading aerospace R&D collaboration on the Aerospace Research and Innovation Center (ARIC). The collaboration aims to support the UAE’s ambitions for developing a global and competitive aerospace hub to address the implications of 4IR.

The agreement was signed by Badr Al-Olama, Head of Aerospace, Mubadala Investment Company, and Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice President of Khalifa University at the Dubai Airshow 2019, the premier global aviation event that is being held at the Dubai World Central (DWC).

The latest phase of ARIC will promote the adoption of advanced aerospace manufacturing applications such as 3D printing and industrial internet of things (IIoT), at Strata Manufacturing and Sanad Aerotech, both wholly-owned Mubadala companies. Strata Manufacturing is an advanced composite aircraft parts manufacturing company, whereas Sanad Aerotech is a leading maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) company. As a leading research center focused on advanced manufacturing and robotics, ARIC helps to develop innovative techniques for manufacturing through automation.

Badr Al-Olama, Head of Aerospace, Mubadala commented, “In the five years since we began our collaboration with Khalifa University on ARIC, we have witnessed significant progress to transform and advance the UAE’s aerospace industry. The jointly funded program is the first of its kind for aerospace in the region and, enables research teams from academia and industry leaders to join forces for a shared goal – strengthening the UAE’s position on the global aerospace map. The program also provides an opportunity for Emirati students to solve challenges facing the aerospace industry using practical approaches and helps us build a pool of homegrown talent who are deeply focused in building future-centric solutions. We look forward to continuing our successful journey, by enhancing our capacity building ambitions and accelerating our focus on R&D to enable new paths for growth for the UAE.”

Dr. Al Hammadi said: “Building on our successful first phase, the new four-year agreement with Mubadala on ARIC’s second phase will enable us to further intensify cutting-edge research in aerospace manufacturing techniques and solutions. In the first phase, three joint patents related to composite processing technology have already been filed and more will be filed shortly. Our research expertise has resulted in creating not only intellectual capital but human capital as well by exposing undergraduate and graduate students to latest technologies in advanced manufacturing. We expect credible and productive outcome from this agreement that will additionally enhance the UAE’s pioneering status in aerospace research, while developing talented youth into full-fledged professionals in this strategic sector.”

The first phase incorporated ARIC’s world-class capabilities to execute projects within the areas of advanced composite manufacturing and automated assembly to support Strata, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Ismail Abdulla, CEO of Strata commented, “ARIC is a unique model for R&D collaboration between industry and academia in the region. It provides a key link in our innovation pipeline as an emerging industry that relies on latest technologies to stay competitive. It’s refreshing to see our engineers working closely with university researchers and students in integrated fashion to solve real problems”

Mansoor Janahi, CEO of Sanad Aerotech reaffirmed the role of ARIC, commenting, “ARIC has played a critical role in helping build talent to support the UAE’s aerospace industry and we are very proud of the progress achieved so far. This new phase of the partnership, builds on our relationship to date and is indicative of our commitment to ensure world-class R&D capabilities within the UAE. Along with Khalifa University, we are looking to harness our strong network of customers and partners in order to advance the ambitions of ARIC – ultimately, growing the capabilities of UAE nationals and unlock global economic impact for the UAE’s national MRO industry.”

Over the past five years, ARIC has completed nine main industry-focused projects, 28 student-led projects involving 65 UAE national students, the emergence of several patented innovations, and more than 30 academic publications in reputed research journals.

News Writer
20 November 2019

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