The Next Industrial Revolution

The First Industrial Revolution was a period of global economic transition, from manual production to machines, powered by chemical manufacturing, water and steam power and mechanized factory systems. Output greatly increased, and the result was an unprecedented rise in population, income, and economic growth. The original Industrial Revolution became the model for other economies to replicate and aspire to become. Progress was understood to be the result of a linear path that involved building more factories, hiring more people, and producing more goods.

Over time, emerging economies eroded that understanding, demonstrating that a different path to progress exists – one that enabled economic growth without the need for physical infrastructure. Contrary to the Western model, these countries showed that producing more goods was not about building more factories and hiring more people, but embracing innovations such as additive manufacturing and digital warehousing that are inherently more sustainable, efficient, and adaptable.

In our research of the supply chain industry, we came to understand that its future will look radically different than it does today, at every node, from manufacturing to the last mile. The supply chains of the future will be (1) self-sufficient, (2) highly efficient, (3) centralized and (4) sustainable – with technology underpinning that transition.

As we assessed the rich regional pipeline of companies enabling future visions of supply chains, one particularly stood out. Leading the way in the Gulf’s additive manufacturing (AM) market, Immensa, under the leadership of Fahmi Al Shawwa and Sary Diab, is actively transforming regional supply chains and changing the way companies in the region – as well as globally – are ordering and storing parts.

Moving towards a de-globalized, green, world

The last few years witnessed a series of global shocks that caused significant supply chain disruptions, from the unprecedented effects of COVID to the war in Ukraine and the volatile state of global trade relations. These events ushered in an industry-level movement toward global decoupling, attempting to reverse centuries of growing globalization.

This de-globalization and focus on localization are the ideal breeding ground for an additive manufacturing industry that offers security, resilience and less dependency on other nations and regions. In fact, the industry is expected to grow to be worth $44 billion by 2027, from $16.8 billion today, and it is estimated that around 85% of spare parts suppliers will soon rely on additive manufacturing processes.

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) industrial strategy, Operation 300bn, is emphasizing the localization of manufacturing, aiming to bolster the nation’s industrial base and enhance its contribution to national GDP. Its goal is to generate AED 300 billion ($82 billion) in industrial output by 2031, from AED 133 billion ($36 billion) today, to reduce its 85% reliance on imports and establish itself as a global hub for future industries. As the government embraces innovation in manufacturing to enable this goal, it is a conducive time for digital manufacturing solutions to disrupt the traditional way of managing the parts value chain. Solutions like Immensa, who already have the right combination of capabilities and expertise, will be at the heart of this shift.

A narrowing focus on the net-zero transition is also inviting a rethink of the carbon footprint of the industrial sector – a sector that ranks third highest in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, after electricity and transport.

What are the benefits of AM?

Additive manufacturing and digital warehousing helps transform the early nodes of the supply chain, as well as lower its carbon footprint. By bringing production closer to consumers, it reduces warehousing costs and transport time, cuts lead times for businesses, while also allowing for the precise production of complex parts, making it inherently more sustainable as it eliminates waste and spoilage.

A recent study showed that, by replacing just a quarter of the current manufacturing processes with additive manufacturing, carbon emissions could be reduced by up to 12%. Further studies, as well as real-world applications in the oil and gas industry, point to savings of up to 50%.

Immensa, with its expansive database of digital files and secure digital warehousing, wants to play its part in aligning manufacturing with the environmental and sustainability goals of COP28. The company specializes in the commercial deployment and application of additive manufacturing on an industrial level, leading the way in the oil and gas and heavy equipment industries. Based in the UAE, Immensa has a global reach and is a leader in digital manufacturing solutions, changing the way companies manage spare parts.

Built by experience

Led by two founding partners with a wealth of experience in the industry, Immensa is going from strength to strength as it looks to boost the reach of digital models to fill in the gaps created by a lack of industrial infrastructure in the region.

Over the past 20 years, Fahmi Al-Shawwa has developed his expertise and skill-set in turnaround situations, organization building, process implementation, and corporate governance execution. During the pandemic, he was lauded for quickly shifting Immensa’s production to help with the country’s efforts and meet the skyrocketing demand for medical equipment, with a quick turnaround and prices lower than market rates.

His partner, Sary Diab, brings over 20 years of experience at multinational corporations in the energy sector and is an expert at driving sustainable growth and profitability by applying structure and efficient business processes. Together, they are inspiring the surge of Immensa’s influence and reach.

Limitless potential

From medical device manufacturing and dental implants to lightweight parts for the automotive and aerospace industries that can help significantly improve performance, there is seemingly no end to the uses for additive manufacturing. New materials are constantly being researched and developed, with this new knowledge and investigation from the material science field feeding into an industry with expansive use cases.


The current Industrial Revolution is driven by technology, and being led by innovators from parts of the world who are forging an alternative path to economic growth. With technology at their disposal, the future of industry is now in the hands of new revolutionaries.

We are truly excited to welcome Immensa to the Global Ventures portfolio, and we look forward to working alongside them as their pioneering work defines the Next Industrial Revolution.