Key objectives for improving specific areas of the industrial sector have been hammered out today (November 24) during several working groups convening at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) Week at Expo 2020’s Dubai Exhibition Centre.
Experts from world-leading corporates, organisations, and government entities discussed ways of promoting a more gender-responsive and safer manufacturing sector, in addition to developing a policy brief for the Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) Index.
Senior representatives from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Microsoft, were among the participants working together to address major obstacles to achieving a more sustainable, inclusive, and safer manufacturing and industrial sector.
The GMIS Working Group for the ISID Index discussed a policy brief to provide a framework for the implementation of key action points. The brief aims to measure the environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) performance of public and private sector entities to guide policymakers, firms, and practitioners, and attract sustainable impact investments.
The meeting was attended by senior figures, including Fernando Cantu Bazaldua, Chief Statistician at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Roberto Alvarez, Executive Director of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC); Ramez Danan, Regional Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft; Ayman Ismail, Vice President of Industrial Automation and Business Development at Schneider Electric; and Christos Cabolis, Chief Economist and Head of Operations at the World Competitiveness Center.
Moderating the session, Bazaldua said: "Unido is currently revisiting its industrial competitive metrics to better align them with the ISID paradigm, and the changes brought about by digitalisation and other enablers of modern industrial progress."
"It will also continue working with countries and different industrial stakeholders in collecting information that could provide a full picture of ISID trends and their impacts on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)," he stated.
The GMIS Working Group for promoting gender inclusivity discussed how evidence suggests that the developments seen across the manufacturing sector and driven by Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies disproportionately benefit men in comparison to women, primarily because the jobs that women do are more densely concentrated in sectors that are more susceptible to automation.
Participants at the session include Jessica Neumann, Investment and Technology Promotion Expert at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization; Yvonne Chebib, Executive Senior Director and Commercial Partner Organization leader at Microsoft UAE; Leena Abu-Mukh Zoabi, Head ofInternational Cooperation at Skolkovo Foundation; and more.
It highlighted important strides taken recently to encourage more women to pursue an education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, which provide a pathway to a career in manufacturing, where technology skills are becoming increasingly important.
A third GMIS Working Group gathered policymakers, manufacturers, and safety innovators from around the world as part of the GMIS Week’s mandate to develop the Global Initiative for Future Industrial Safety (GIFIS).
Alongside UNIDO and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, the working group tackled three target areas for effective safety improvements in 4IR, including cyber security in the context of human-machine relationships, policy regulations for robotics and autonomous systems, and the human interface with 4IR technology across the scopes of culture, behaviour, and communication.
Participants included Georges El Mir, Industry VP of Schneider Electric Mena; Dr. Ruth Boumphrey Director of Research at Llyod’s Register Foundation; Philip Rice, Managing Director of Consultancy at Llyod’s Register Foundation; Michael Tooma, Managing Partner at Clyde & Co Australia; Evgeny Goncharov, Head of Kaspersky Lab as well as JC Sekar, CEO of Acuizen Technologies; and together considered tools and resources to advance safety capabilities as manufacturers adopt emerging 4IR technologies.
The moderator of the session, Farrukh Alimdjanov, Industrial Development Officer at Unido, said: "Safety is not always the main priority, which may lead to an increase in workplace-related accidents and maybe even disease if not properly addressed."
"The discussions today offered an opportunity to design and develop initial delivery for the inspiring initiative with the Lloyd’s Register Foundation and GMIS Organising Committee, showing promise for international collaboration that will advance safety in the future of industry," he observed.
Also at the meeting was Georges El Mir, Oil & Gas VP for Middle East & Africa at Schneider Electric (SE), who said: "Facilitating global cross-sectoral cooperation offers a maximum flow and exchange of information needed to achieve more widespread industrial safety."
"The dynamic exchanges that occurred during the working group have invaluably refined key areas of action that will positively contribute to the development of safety standards in the workplace," he added.