I’m pleased to join you for the 2018 Global Aerospace Summit.
It is a pleasure to be here once again for this important gathering.
The Global Aerospace Summit brings together leaders from government and industry to strengthen national security, expand economic opportunity, and drive global progress.
The theme of this year’s conference is well-chosen and far-sighted.
We are here to discuss, “building the future of aerospace through innovation.”
It is a conference goal worthy of the vision originally set out by His Highness Sheikh Zayed.
His focus on the future continues with today’s leaders of the UAE, as they drive progress across the Emirates.
The UAE is an example for the world of what a nation can achieve when wise leaders put in place sound policies that enable long-term cooperation and sustained investment in people and innovations.
At Lockheed Martin, we share the UAE’s progressive and optimistic view of the future.
And we’re proud to have partnered with the UAE for four decades to help achieve Sheikh Zayed’s vision.
We recognize the tremendous promise and the key role that the aerospace industry can play in building the future through innovation.
To this end, I’ve been asked to share with you some of the lessons Lockheed Martin has learned through the public-private partnerships we’ve built here in the UAE and around the world.
These partnerships have led to transformative relationships and ground-breaking cooperation.
Through our global experience, we’ve identified three keys for building strong public-private partnerships, which I will speak to today.
First, I’ll talk about the importance of partners having a shared vision for global security as the foundation for economic opportunity, growth, and progress.
Next, I’ll discuss why public-private partnerships must focus on driving innovation.
Finally, I’ll discuss why the most effective public-private partnerships focus on the long-term goal of building up the talent and capabilities of the nation.
I’ll begin by discussing the need for a shared vision for national security, which is the cornerstone for transformative partnerships.
The first priority of government is the safety and security of its citizens.
When partners are united by this core objective, it strengthens common ideals, leads to open dialogue, and encourages cooperative efforts.
National security must be in place for there to be economic security, economic growth, and human progress.
When a nation is safe and secure, it enables efficient and well-capitalized markets to develop, so entrepreneurs and innovators can take risks that advance technology and expand the economy.
Here in the UAE, the leaders in government and the military understand the foundational importance of a strong and effective national defense at a time of rapidly emerging and rapidly evolving threats.
At Lockheed Martin, we share this vision for security – and we deeply respect the UAE’s bold vision and clear priorities.
We’re proud to partner with the UAE on capabilities that contribute to greater security and that position the nation as a leader in international efforts for peace and stability.
Our technologies support missions across the UAE’s military portfolio:
The F-16 Desert Falcon serves as a strategic deterrent to regional threats.
EADGE-T is one of the most integrated air defense systems in the region.
And we are honored to support the UAE’s leadership through the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD.
In 2012, the UAE became the first international THAAD customer.
THAAD now provides advanced missile defense, and today stands ready to protect the citizens and assets of the UAE should the need arise.
This advanced system represents our unwavering commitment to our shared vision for global stability and security for our customers.
The UAE has also proven that a sustained commitment to national security increases and expands opportunities for government and industry cooperation.
It is important to note another benefit of a shared vision for security.
It helps allied nations move forward together economically by providing incentives for international investment and expanding trade.
An excellent example of this comes from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Our strong partnership on the Arabsat satellite program will lead to new technological capabilities that will support progress and economic growth.
The launch of this new, high-capacity communications satellite, Arabsat 6G, will deliver TV, internet, and mobile phone services to the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
And, as a part of our partnership with Saudi Arabia, we have also invited young engineers from the Kingdom to come to our facilities in the U.S. to gain hands-on experience in assembling and testing these cutting-edge satellites.
Through this program, we are providing a valuable career opportunity for these young engineers, and, in turn, we are supporting Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to create a safe, secure, and sustainable economy.
Around the world, nations are facing unprecedented and asymmetric threats that put at risk not only the safety of citizens, but global stability itself.
In this dynamic and unpredictable environment, fielding innovative technologies is more critical than ever.
This brings us to the second key to building successful partnerships – unleashing the power of innovation.
Innovation is not just a key element of security. It is the driver of economic growth and competitiveness.
Few nations understand this better than the United Arab Emirates.
Innovation gives peaceful nations, regardless of their size, the decisive edge.
Moreover, an “innovation mindset” is the critical catalyst for creating transformative partnerships.
When innovation is the focus of public-private partnerships, it helps ensure government-industry efforts will lead to long-term employment gains, sustainable national capacity, and global competitiveness.
In 2016, Lockheed Martin partnered with the Swedish technology company Exechon and Abu Dhabi-based Injaz National to form a joint venture, Exechon Enterprises.
Exechon Enterprises created a flexible automated manufacturing tool, the UAE-made X-mini,
which has applications across the aerospace, defense, and automotive industries.
In addition, the company is working with industry and academia to reach the goal of becoming
a center of excellence for engineering and for producing automated manufacturing tools.
Cooperative efforts such as Exechon Enterprises strengthen our long-term partnerships and ultimately position us for lasting success as we adapt to the evolving global security environment.
This brings us to the third key to building partnerships with purpose – maintaining a focus on the long term.
The most powerful and far-reaching changes come over time – especially in advanced technology industries like defense and aerospace.
The Republic of Korea shows just how powerful and far-reaching our partnerships can be.
In the 1980s, Lockheed Martin began to work with Korean Aerospace Industries, or KAI, on the Korean Fighter Program.
Over time, this innovative, three-phase program helped to position KAI to become a world-class manufacturer.
Today, South Korea is a design center for combat and trainer aircraft.
This successful, decades-long relationship eventually led to a new partnership on a new jet trainer for the Republic of Korea Air Force – and customers around the world.
The result was the T-50 Golden Eagle, a joint development by Lockheed Martin and KAI.
KAI now has customers in Indonesia, Iraq, the Philippines, and Thailand, resulting in more than $1 billion in orders to date.
In addition, the T-50 is now serving as the platform for the T-50A program, our ready-and-proven offering for the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Pilot Training program.
This partnership is a prime example of how public-private partnerships can develop capabilities to strengthen national security, pursue manufacturing and innovation, and enhance national capacity and job creation.
At Lockheed Martin, we can point to similar public-private partnerships in Poland, India, Canada, and many other nations.
Simply put, we have learned that public-private partnerships are most effective and most transformative when they are focused on making a strong and lasting impact over the long term.
Such commitment leads to concrete and comprehensive action.
To shape the future, public-private partnerships should target every link in a national economy to encourage education, opportunity, and innovation.
This means our shared efforts should promote science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, in early education.
They should invest in university partnerships and startups that help those students apply their skills and ingenuity.
And they should provide internships and research opportunities to help workers keep pace with the skills necessary to compete in the 21st century factories, workplaces, and economy.
It is this kind of investment in young people and workers that lifts an entire nation.
Earlier today, I was honored to participate in a Youth Circle with approximately 30 Emirati students and young professionals.
One of our main topics of discussion was how we can position today’s young aerospace professionals in the UAE to be leaders in the aerospace industry of the future, and how we can ensure the UAE is competitive in a world where technology is developing at an unprecedented rate.
At Lockheed Martin, we’ve learned that when we provide students and young professionals with opportunities that immerse them in some of our most exciting programs, we ultimately inspire them to achieve great success.
Last year, we launched an initiative that gives students at top universities in the Emirates a chance to work on real-world scenarios that will improve some of our unmanned aerial systems, or UAS, technology.
In partnership with our UAE Center for Innovation & Security Solutions and Mubadala Investment Company, we’ve challenged these students to design, develop and integrate civilian and industrial applications for our small UAS, Indago.
Emirati students have designed payloads to monitor water management, aid in oil and gas operations, study climate change, and improve emergency response systems.
The students are also being mentored by Lockheed Martin engineers as the designs enter the advanced payload prototype-and-testing phase.
Once complete, the students will hold the intellectual property rights to these technologies, which will give them the opportunity for future business pursuits.
This program is a shining example of our approach to international growth through successful local partnership.
By engaging young talent in the STEM fields and by giving them hands-on experiences and real-world challenges, we’re building the pipeline of future leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs.
Programs like this help to develop the talent pipeline of students and professionals and to position the UAE for long-term growth and success in the years to come.
The UAE understands much more than many nations that devoting resources to innovation today will pay great dividends tomorrow.
It’s critical that we invest in our future to ensure long-term prosperity.
To conclude, I’d like to leave you with a quote from His Highness Sheikh Zayed.
He once said, “No matter how many buildings, foundations, schools, and hospitals we build, or how many bridges we raise all these are material entities. The real spirit behind the progress is the human spirit, the able man with his intellect and capabilities.”
At Lockheed Martin, we share this belief – that human ingenuity can spur growth and progress that financial investment alone cannot match.
Ultimately, through strong partnerships – partnerships that value national security, focus on innovation, and build talent and capabilities over the long term – we can protect citizens, expand national capacity, and provide greater opportunity in the UAE for decades to come.
Thank you for this opportunity, and for your gracious hospitality.
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