Abu Dhabi-UAE. 09 February 2019. Defence ministers, senior government officials, high-ranking military officers, eminent academics and leaders of renowned defence companies from around the world will be among the distinguished speakers participating in the upcoming editon of the International Defence Conference (IDC) 2019.

Set to run from 14 to 16 February at Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi as a precursor to the 2019 editions of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) and the Naval Defence and Maritime Security Exhibition (NAVDEX), IDC 2019 will convene over 1,200 global industrial academics, defence, security and government specialists.

Under the theme of ‘Shaping Our Shared Future: Strengthening Our Security and Prosperity through Innovation’, IDEX and the Abu Dhabi International Offset Conference (ADIOC), which was organised by the Tamazun Economic Council, are being combined for the first time to create a comprehensive global forum to examine the latest developments in the defence, security and offset sectors as well as the impact the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) may have on these domains, particularly in terms of innovation, manufacturing and human capital development.

Aimed at consolidating the status of the UAE as a leading global hub for specialised conferences, the event will focus on four key areas: offset, security & stability, economy, and innovation & artificial intelligence (AI).

Following the opening ceremony, His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, will address the topic of economic diversity in the 4IR era, while His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, will share insights on AI and innovation.

In addition, on day one, Saeed Al Gergawi, Director of the Dubai Future, will moderate a panel discussion titled ‘Leveraging Offset as a Catalyst/Enabler of Economic Diversification’. Panellists will include His Excellency Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, CEO of the Tawazun Economic Council, His Excellency Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khateeb, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries, Mitchell Butta, Sector Director for Global Industrial Positioning at Northrop Grumman, and Professor Ron Matthews, Cranfield University Chair in Defence Economics at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom.

Hadley Gamble, Reporter and Anchor at CNBC, will serve as moderator of the second session, ‘Security in the 4IR Future’. The panel will feature Marko Erman, Chief Technology Officer at Thales Group, Air Marshall Jitendra Kumar Singh, Director General (Systems) at the Indian Air Force, Howard Bromberg, Vice President for Air and Missile Defence Strategy and Business Development at Lockheed Martin, and Martin Sion, CEO of Safran Electronics and Defence.

The third session panel, themed ‘Optimising Innovation Efforts and Aligning Innovation Priorities’, will comprise Peter Bergen, Co-director of the Center on Future of War, Sean McGurk, Vice President for Cyber Services at DarkMatter, Professor Uday Desai, Director of the Indian Instituite of Technology Hyderabad, and General Sir Christopher Deverell, Commander of the UK’s Joint Forces Command.

Day two of the conference on 16 February will commence with an address on “Security and stability in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” by His Excellency Mohammed bin Ahmad Al Bawardi, Minister of  State for Defence Affairs. Next on the agenda, Her Excellency Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, will present a talk on ‘Science, Technology and Innovation in light of 4IR’, followed by an address by Michio Kaku, Professor of Theoretical Physics at The City College of New York, on the topic ‘Future World in light of 4IR’.

Day two will continue with a discussion ‘What is the 4IR Economy’ comprising panellists His Excellency Saif Mohamed Al Hajeri, Chairman of the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi, His Excellency Giovanni Tria, Italian Minister of Economy and Finance, and David Johnston, Australian Defence Export Advocate.

Tate Nurkin, Founder and CEO of OTH Intelligence Group, will moderate the second session on ‘Next Generation Stablisation and Reconstruction Missions’. Panellists will include Lieutenant General Steven M Shepro, Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, His Excellency Dr Mohamad Maliki bin Osman, Singaporean Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs, and General Joseph Votel, Commander, US Central Command.

Dr Mohamed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Executive Director of the Signals Intelligence Agency, will moderate the final panel discussion of the conference, themed ‘Understanding the Age of Cognitive Warfare’. Emmanuel Chiva, Director of the French Defense Innovation Agency, Herve Guillou, Chairman and CEO of Naval Group, and Micael Johansson, Deputy CEO and Senior Executive Vice President of Saab, will participate as panellists.

Following the conclusion of the conference, IDEX/NAVDEX 2019 will commence at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 17 to 21 February under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.