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GDA launches 10th Technical Committee on Digitalization
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 27 - 09 - 2020

The Gulf Downstream Association (GDA) recently launched its 10th Technical Committee on "Digitalization" based on a key board objective to capitalize on and support members in the adoption of fast-evolving technologies.
The committee aims to ensure that members have the necessary support and resources to adapt to the emerging IR4.0 technologies (e.g. Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analysis, Augmented Reality, Machine Learning, Drones, 3D Printing, etc.) effectively and efficiently.
This committee is focusing initially on bridging the knowledge gap between members by reviewing progress and plans being undertaken by various member organizations on Digitalization.
The committee will also monitor the continuous development in technologies relevant to the downstream industry and deliberate on those specific technologies most suitable to adding significant value collaboratively and collectively to the businesses of GDA members and allowing them to better optimize efforts and costs.
Specifically, the Committee will focus on the following areas in the context of Digitalization:
• People (Accountability, Expectations, Governance, and reporting)
• Processes (Strategy, Framework, Methodologies, Metrics, and Training)
• Functional Support (OT, IT, Security, Audit, Compliance, and Procurement)
• Business Engagement (Leadership, Business Continuity, Change Management, and Value)
• Culture (Communications, Campaign, Champion, and Immersion)
The kick-off meeting of this new committee was held virtually on Sept. 15, 2020 with the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) nominated from GDA founding member companies.
GDA Secretary General Eng. Audah Al Ahmadi welcomed the members of this new committee and wished everyone a great success in creating a unique alliance among the GCC players on the common issues of Digitalization, while enriching the combined pool of knowledge benefitting all.
GDA Technical Manager Raj Jhajharia presented a comprehensive overview of GDA since its inception and provided a detailed update on the GDA website focusing on the unique Knowledge Hub. He also briefed the committee members with salient aspects of their charter and future Road map.
During the meeting, Bassam Jayed Alshammari from KNPC was elected the chairperson and Khurram Haleem from Saudi Aramco as deputy chair. The Committee Charter was discussed, and it was agreed that more SMEs from amongst the GDA membership would be added based on their potential to add value in this committee.
Under the current situation of COVID-19 pandemic, the committee decided to schedule regular virtual meetings to progress on their charter and knowledge-sharing initiatives, like all other GDA Technical Committees. — SG

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