NEOM’s OXAGON signs landmark MoU with Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, MODON

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources and the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones “MODON”, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with OXAGON, home to advanced and clean industries in NEOM.

The MoU was signed on Sunday, and aims to enhance cooperation in the implementation of the “Future Factories Program.” 

It was signed under the guidance of His Excellency Bandar bin Ibrahim AlKhorayef, Minister for Industry and Mineral Resources, according to a Sunday press statement.

The statement indicated that the program aims to build a strong technology ecosystem enabling a sustainable digital transformation of the manufacturing sector in the Kingdom, remodelling 4,000 existing factories to enhance the Kingdom’s competitiveness on a global scale.

A key aspect of the MoU is the development of legislation, incentives and enablers that will support the Future Factories Program to remove barriers to industrial innovation in the Kingdom. 

Experts from all parties will assess the industry’s readiness and explore ways to integrate advanced manufacturing technologies, such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing and the Internet of Things (IoT) into manufacturing industries.

The MoU further sets a framework for all parties to collaborate in driving a clean industry through the development and implementation of the Advanced and Clean Manufacturing Improvement Tool, which allows organizations to assess their readiness for change and move toward advanced manufacturing systems and processes.

Osama bin Abdulaziz Al-Zamil, Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources said: “This MoU lays the groundwork for implementing the Future of Factories Program by strategically unifying the efforts of the private and public sectors. Through this program, the Ministry aims to enhance the competitiveness of local industries and create significant job opportunities in key areas for the Saudi youth in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030. NEOM and OXAGON are pioneers. They lead the way in cutting-edge technology and industry and are perfectly placed to inspire future industries and the next generation of talent in Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, we are promoting local manufacturing, enhancing current factories according to world-class standards, and establishing state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities that guarantee higher efficiency and increased productivity.”

At the signing ceremony, Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM, said: “NEOM’s objectives are in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals. This memorandum represents a major milestone in realizing the signatories’ shared ambitions to sustainably future-proof industries and drive economic diversification across the country. OXAGON represents the future of advanced clean industries and will be powered by 100% renewable energy. Together with the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources and MODON – who we enjoy close relationships with – we will deploy our considerable collective resources, and talents, to develop such industries for the Kingdom and the world.”

As part of the MoU, MODON will provide the sites and selected factories to pilot the assessment. With OXAGON, a team of specialists will conduct a comprehensive analysis and outline the course of action that should be taken to carry out the Future Factories Program. The agreement is expected to enhance local content, localize strategic goods and promote national industries.

Vishal Wanchoo, CEO of OXAGON, said: “OXAGON is continuously seeking new ways to transform the future of manufacturing and create a sustainable industrial blueprint for the world. By mixing the state-of-the-art approaches from Industry 4.0, utilization of solely renewable energy and circular economy principles, OXAGON will enable industries of the future to avoid environmental degradation and preserve efficiency and profitability. The Advanced and Clean Manufacturing Improvement Tool will play a critical role in supporting the local industry through this important transition.”

During the next several months, OXAGON and MODON will form a joint working group to develop an action plan to implement the programs as stipulated in the MoU. Efforts will be devoted to developing a policy program and work models geared toward developing future industries.

Initially announced in July 2022, the Future Factories Program aims to analyze factories’ operational readiness by assessing their Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIRI). Over 4,000 factories will be transformed into advanced and higher-quality industries through automation and enhanced efficiency, raising the global competitiveness of the sector.

Launched in November 2021, OXAGON is a new paradigm where technology, industry and people come together in harmony with nature. Unlike traditional industrial cities of the past, OXAGON will be home to NEOM’s advanced and clean industries, a research and innovation hub, an automated and integrated port, a supply chain network and several thriving communities.

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