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Bahrain to develop 300 smart factories by 2026

The initiative's goals is to adopt the top regional and global practices to ensure sustainability of resources and raise productivity.

Bahrain to develop 300 smart factories by 2026
[Source photo: Pankaj Kirdatt/Fast Company Middle East]

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Bahrain has launched a new initiative to support the industrial sector’s move towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The national initiative, iFactories, will assess the readiness of factories and measure their level of digital maturity, allowing them to invest in technology infrastructure and manufacturing automation.

Through a partnership with Tamkeen, Abdullah bin Abdel Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce, said the initiative aims to transform 300 factories into smart factories by 2026.

Among the initiative’s goals is to adopt the top regional and global practices when managing production lines to ensure the sustainability of resources, raise productivity, increase efficiency, and reduce dependence on the unskilled workforce while shifting towards automation and modern technologies, creating more job opportunities for citizens.

The transformation of the factories will come in four steps: the evaluation stage, whereby the ministry will provide advisory and technical assistance to conduct self-evaluation, followed by the actual evaluation by accredited evaluators; the empowerment stage, which involves the factory developing a digital transformation plan, and lastly the development stage where the ministry will monitor the transformation process.

Dr. Khaled Fahad Al Alawi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industrial Development, shares that factories will follow the SIRI index, the international standard for evaluating factories based on applying practices and tools about the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  

Maha Mufeez, Tamkeen CEO, notes that this partnership aligns with the nation’s objectives to modernize the industrial sector and encourage Bahraini businesses to expand into technological solutions to automate and develop their operations. In turn, their economic contribution within the private sector will increase, which Mufeez envisions as the main growth driver in the Gulf state.

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