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UAE - Telecoms & IT

Waleid Al Mesmari

Senior Vice President, Electronic Warfare Cyber Technologies, EDGE Group

Bio

Waleid Al Mesmari is Senior Vice President of the Electronic Warfare and Cyber Technologies (EW&CT) cluster at EDGE. Prior to joining EDGE, he served as manager of business analysis and strategic planning at the UAE Government. Al Mesmari also worked for Etisalat as head of the Ankabut Network. He holds an MBA from Abu Dhabi School of Management as well as a bachelor of computer engineering degree from the Etisalat University College in Sharjah. In addition, he successfully completed an executive development program from Columbia Business School in New York, as well as the Future Foresight Program conducted by the UAE Prime Minister’s Office in collaboration with the University of Oxford in the UK.

"EDGE Group is now one of the world’s leading advanced technology and defense groups, championing UAE-made, technologically advanced products and solutions."

Waleid Al Mesmari, Senior Vice President, Electronic Warfare Cyber Technologies at EDGE Group, talks to TBY about working to strengthen national security.

As one of the world’s leading advanced technology companies, how is EDGE providing a competitive advantage to customers and strengthening national security in the UAE?

EDGE Group is now one of the world’s leading advanced technology and defense groups, championing UAE-made, technologically advanced products and solutions. The consolidation of more than 20 sovereign defense entities under EDGE Group has enabled us to focus on collaborative R&D efforts, upgrade our capabilities more consistently, and progress together efficiently and at speed—to deliver for our key clients and markets. The group’s aggressive product development roadmap is built on a strong industrial blueprint which has seen it increase the number of its products by 400 per cent since launch. We currently have a total of 115 products with over 80 of these having been launched and developed since our inauguration in 2019. We achieved a USD5 -billion order intake in 2022, 35% of which was in international exports—a 500% YoY increase. These deals are significant in value and support our focus on ensuring that the products we develop aren’t solely directed at the local market, but can compete in the global marketplace, too. This is a testament to our adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies such as robotics, AI, and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the training and upskilling of national and global talent to support digital transformation and business excellence from the shop floor to the boardroom. Our strategic priorities at EDGE revolve around three critical investment areas: autonomous capabilities, electronic warfare, and smart weapons. We aim to be known as a company that converges commercial market innovations with military capabilities, to be at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies, including the application of AI, and delivering advanced breakthrough products and services at speed, with a growing global export footprint.

As part of the Electronic Warfare & Cyber Technologies cluster at EDGE, what kind of solutions does KATIM provide to governments and businesses in terms of cybersecurity?

KATIM Applications comprises KATIM Messenger, KATIM File transfer, and KATIM Conference which are all built on a secure-by-design philosophy. These applications can facilitate collaboration for a wide range of end users including VIPs, heads of state, security officials, and military personnel. In 2023, KATIM launched KATIM 2.0, the next generation secure applications platform which offers integrated ultra-secure communication and collaboration functionalities and trusted security that is usable, comfortable and invisible. In general, we are focused on delivering an ecosystem of KATIM solutions for our clients within the defense security fields. Our priority is to ensure that clients have peace-of-mind when it comes to their conversations, data-sharing and intellectual property. We also apply a tamper-proof hardware capability and sovereign or custom cryptography to add an extra layer of security.

BEACON RED is a licensed training provider under the Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training. Can you tell us more about its partnership program with 42 Abu Dhabi, a coding school?

BEACON RED is a capability enhancement entity and bespoke training provider that focuses on strengthening the country’s national security ecosystem. Through this partnership with 42 Abu Dhabi, BEACON RED is enabling local talent to become cyber warriors and national security professionals to ensure the secure and prosperous future of the UAE. They are equipping Emirati students with the skills to deter any cyber threats that can jeopardize the achievements of the past 50 years. BEACON RED has signed numerous partnerships with local global players to expand their offerings and ensure they are delivering added value to their clients and students. More than 3,000 students graduate from BEACON RED each year with national and international qualifications and world-class skills in the national security and the defense sphere. National players such as BEACON RED add massive value to the community and enable local talent to truly thrive.

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