Abdullah bin Adel Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce, announced the launch of (iFactories), a national initiative to support the movement of the industrial sector towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The initiative aimed at assessing the readiness of factories, measuring their level of digital maturity, and enabling them to invest in technology infrastructure and manufacturing automation, which is one of the pillars of the industrial sector’s strategy (2022-2026).
The minister valued the government’s support for further developing the industrial sector to strengthen national industries and increase their efficiency and global competitiveness.
He also added that the launch of this initiative, in strategic partnership with Tamkeen, aimed at transforming 300 factories into smart factories by the year 2026.
It seeks to adopt the best regional and global practices in managing production lines to ensure the sustainability of the industrial sector’s resources, raise its productivity, increase its efficiency, and reduce dependence on unskilled manpower, and shift towards automation and modern technologies, in order to create promising job opportunities for citizens.
Maha Mufeez, CEO of Tamkeen, affirmed that this partnership contributes to achieving Tamkeen’s objectives of making the private sector the main driver of economic growth in Bahrain, in addition to making Bahrainis the ideal choice for employment in the labour market.
Mufeez added that the partnership through this initiatives supports national goals in modernising this sector and encouraging Bahraini businesses to adopt advanced technological solutions to automate and develop their operations, increase their productivity and achieve their sustainable goals.
This will positively reflect on increasing their economic contribution within the private sector and increase their ability to create jobs of added value for citizens, she said.
During the event, Dr. Khaled Fahad Al Alawi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industrial Development, gave a brief presentation on iFactories, indicating that it will be based on the (SIRI) index, the latest international standard for evaluating factories in terms of applying the practices and tools of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Al Alawi pointed out that the factory transformation process falls in 4 steps.
In the evaluation stage, the ministry will provide advisory and technical support to conduct self-evaluation. This will be followed by the actual evaluation by accredited evaluators, which will move the factory to the design stage to develop a digital transformation plan, considered as the basis for the empowerment stage. Through this, factories will be able to obtain support and incentives. The fourth steps is the development phase, where the ministry will, through its tools, monitor the transformation process through performance monitoring tools and measure its indicators.
Al Alawi invited those wishing to join the initiative to start self-assessment by viewing the evaluation guide on the ministry’s website, or by communicating directly with specialists in Industrial affairs in the ministry to benefit from the initiative.