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Over 26 global industry leaders, specialists, and experts will attend the International Defence Conference 2021, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, on 20 February. The event, conducted in hybrid format for the first time, will be held both at the ADNOC Business Centre, as well as virtually through global platforms. Participants will discuss the Prosperity and Development of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology and the Protection in the Era of the 4IR.

The Conference will open with a speech by His Excellency Mohammed Bin Ahmad Al Bawardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs in the UAE. His Excellency will highlight how the UAE plays a key role in advancing the global defence sector. Four main sessions will follow, in which both local and international experts will participate in. Prominent speakers include His Excellency Suhail Bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, His Excellency Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications in addition to His Excellency Eng. Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Al Ohali, Governor of the General Authority for Military Industries, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Sessions at the International Defence Conference

The first session, held under the title ‘Exploring innovative opportunities in supply-chain ecosystem management beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic’, will welcome:

  • His Excellency Suhail Bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei
  • His Excellency Eng. Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Al Ohali
  • Helmut Rauch, CEO & President of Diehl Defence,
  • Tim Cahill, Senior Vice President at Lockheed Martin International.

This session will be moderated by Badr Al-Olama, Executive Director – Aerospace, Mubadala Investment Company.

The second session, held under the title ‘Protecting AI and other 4IR technologies in the age of collaboration and diffusion’, will be attended by:

  • His Excellency Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama
  • Micael Johansson, Chief Executive Officer at Saab Group
  • Heidi Grant, Director of the Defence Security Cooperation Agency in the USA
  • Eric Papin, Executive VP Technical and Innovation Officer, Naval Group.

Industry Emphasis

As for the third session, it will be held under the title ‘Strengthening the Defence industries R&D in an increasingly dynamic global context’. Participants include:

  • His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai, CEO and Managing Director of EDGE
  • His Excellency Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani, CEO of the Tawazun Economic Council
  • Dr. Uzi Rubin, Senior Researcher at the Jerusalem Institute of Strategy and Security
  • Kim, Yoon Seok, Deputy Minister Office of Military Force and Resource Management in South Korea
  • Lieutenant General (rtd) Theodoros LAGIOS HAF, General Director of General Directorate for Defence Investments and Armaments (GDDIA)

This session will be moderated by Dr. Noah Raford, Chief of Global Affairs, Dubai Future Foundation.

The Conference concludes with the fourth session entitled ‘A holistic view on Cyber Security Resiliency during the era of Digital Transformation.’ Speaking at the session will be: His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security for the UAE Government and Vice Admiral Dinesh Kumar Tripathi, AVSM, NM, Director General Naval Operations.

This session will be moderated by Dr. Bushra Al Blooshi, Head of Research and Innovation at the Dubai Electronic Security Centre.

The closing remarks of the Conference will be delivered by Dr. Yehya Al Marzouqi, Vice Chairman of the Conference Organising Committee, and Advisor to the CEO’s Office at Tawazun Economic Council.

Coronavirus Precautions

The Conference is organised by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) and the Tawazun Economic Council (Tawazun). This is done in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence and the General Command of the Armed Forces of the UAE. The conference will run on 20 February from 8:00am to 14:00pm. The IDEX & NAVDEX 2021 exhibitions will open the following day.

All attendees will be required to have a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction test before entering either the conference or the exhibitions. Social distancing measures and the wearing of Personal Protective Equipment is being mandated across exhibitions and conference facilities.

Jack Richardson