Traditionally a prime hub for trade, logistics and communications, Dubai, the UAE, are looking to secure the future as a hub of business innovation.
On the 27th of November 2013, Dubai was voted as the host city for Expo 2020, an event that aims to bring together a global audience to discuss issues pertinent to every person in the world. Based on central theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, Expo 2020 will also cover key sub-themes of sustainability, mobility and opportunity.
While the event will place the country at the heart of an event with an estimated 25 million visitors, it also helps to cement Dubai’s place as a centre for technology and business innovation.
Dubai is already well on its way to becoming a ‘smart city‘, with huge sums of money being invested in making the emirate a hub for IT and technology. In September 2015, Dubai was named as the second-best city in the world for expats wishing to start a business, while the UAE was among the top 10 countries for expats to work in.
These titles run in line with Dubai’s aim to open its doors to the best and brightest technology innovators and entrepreneurs. As part of its investment in infrastructure during its ‘Year of Innovation‘ in 2015, provisions were made to assist small to medium-sized startups with technological assistance, aimed at creating growth in this sector.
And, as part of this drive to encourage more global technology organisations to come to Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced a $544 million fund to finance innovation in the city.
While the fund doesn’t actually go live in terms of investment until later this year, it is anticipated that it will provide funding to companies based in the UAE, as well as those providing “exceptional innovative ideas“, helping to drive growth and economic development across the region.
All of this comes as part of the UAE’s ‘Vision 2021‘, which aims to make the country one of the most innovative in the world. And it’s good to know that procurement and supply chain have a key role to play in this process too.
In the coming months, a huge procurement and contracting effort will be undertaken to award build work for the site, infrastructure and transportation to support the hosting of Expo 2020. Dubai is forecast to spend around $8 billion on infrastructure mega projects in the build up to Expo 2020 including hotels, new metro links and malls.
Kicking it off last week, the RTA awarded a $2.88 billion contract for the construction of its Expolink metro. This will be followed by purchase of trains to service both the new, and existing, Dubai metro lines.
It’s estimated that Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) will look to 30 per cent of the project cost through private funding, with public-private partnerships mooted for the remainder.
Is it too much to ask for to have a little innovation in the procurement process? While traditional processes might still hold sway, we can only hope that the profession can get in on the act in the next few years.
Need something to chat about in the tea room? Or something to enjoy with your coffee? Here are the week’s big headlines…
States Come Together for Purchasing Agreement
- TheNational Association of State Procurement Officers (NASPO) has been formulating a collective procurement agreement which is expected to benefit 34 states in America.
- The Value Point platform will give states purchasing similar items cooperative buying power as one organisation, rather then by state basis.
- The Cloud-based platform will enable information storage and allow for different payment structures.
- The final agreement is expected to be signed off in August and will the states to move forward with a cohesive, cooperative approach to procurement.
Read more at Government Technology
Rolls-Royce Announce Robot Cargo Ships
- The Rolls-Royce led Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA) presented their vision of autonomous shipping at the Autonomous Ship Technology Symposium 2016 in Amsterdam.
- The group is working on a series of virtual decks, where land-based crew would control every aspect of the ship
- There will also be drones and VR cameras to assist with spotting issues that humans cannot control.
- Rolls-Royce aims to launch first remote-controlled cargo ship by 2020, with the aim for automated fleets to follow soon after.
Read more at Futurism
New World Bank Procurement Framework Live
- The new procurement framework at the World Bank was officially launched on the 1st of July.
- The new Procurement Framework will allow the World Bank to better respond to the needs of client countries, while preserving robust procurement standards.
- The Framework also enables the Bank to work more closely with country partners in improving their own procurement systems.
- Hart Schafer, World Bank Vice President for Operations Policy and Country Services, said, “The Bank can now offer a more modern and nimble procurement system to help promote sustainable development.”
Read more at The World Bank
US-Japanese Underwater Cable Goes Online
- A 9,000km, six-fiber cable linking the USA and Japan, and backed by Google, went online at the end of last week.
- The $300 million ‘FASTER’ cable is a project backed by a consortium of six companies including NEC, China Mobile, China Telecom, Global Transit and KDDI, aimed at better connecting the two countries.
- The cable can deliver up to 60 terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth, about 10 millions times faster than standard cable modems.
- The cable will support Google’s Cloud Platform East Asia region, with dedicated bandwidth supporting faster data transfer and reduced latency.
Read more at Tech Crunch