ADIO unites with electric pioneering seaglider maker ‘REGENT’

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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ADIO partners with REGENT
Officials during the signing ceremony | WAM

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has entered into a collaboration with electric pioneering seaglider maker, REGENT, to support and attract investment for the technology’s development and manufacturing at the Smart and Autonomous Vehicles Industry (SAVI) cluster, located in Masdar City.

ADIO and REGENT signed the MoU on the sidelines of DRIFTx, Abu Dhabi’s smart and autonomous mobility transport event, which is taking place at the Yas Marina Circuit.

The move is a key step in REGENT’s global expansion, serving an order book of over $9 billion all around the planet with the promise of drastically reducing the time and cost of moving people and goods between coastal cities.

REGENT’s seagliders are an all-electric, wing-in-ground-effect craft that operates dock-to-dock, over-water routes within a wingspan of the water’s surface, combining the speed of an airplane with the operating cost and accessibility of a boat.

Built to the same safety standards as modern aircraft and watercraft, the seagliders will service routes up to 180 miles (300 km) with existing battery technology, with the potential to serve routes of up to 500 miles (800 km) once next-generation batteries become available, all using existing dock infrastructure.

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Badr Al Olama
Director General

“Abu Dhabi is deploying innovation at scale through its pioneering Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry cluster and we’re proud to welcome REGENT to Abu Dhabi to shape the future of coastal transportation. With immense speed and efficiency, I’m confident Abu Dhabi will see the global deployment of electric seagliders, and these will dramatically change how goods and people move between the world’s coastal areas going forward. As a leading hub for the development of future industries, we will leverage to stand at the very forefront of a new wave of disruptive change in mobility that is set to create tremendous opportunities for businesses over the next few decades.”

REGENT will leverage the opportunity to utilize the SAVI cluster’s state-of-the-art facilities, services, and enabling regulatory ecosystem, and will collaborate with ADIO to solicit the local support and investment required to expand its global operations in UAE, including workforce development, supply chain, integration and seaglider delivery infrastructure.

In the current vision, REGENT is targeting a pilot operational campaign in the next few years, with plans for localized seaglider manufacturing by the end of the decade.

Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO of REGENT, said that, “Abu Dhabi’s SAVI cluster represents an extraordinary opportunity for our company to simultaneously support our global expansion and fulfill the strong demand of our customers already in the region.”

“With our growing backlog of $9 billion in seaglider orders rapidly spreading throughout the Gulf, the Red Sea, Indo-Pacific, and Europe, we need a way to effectively manufacture and deliver seagliders across the Eastern Hemisphere. We have been thrilled by the dedicated and rapid support of ADIO, together with our existing investor EDGE’s SDF, as we work collaboratively to build a REGENT hub in Abu Dhabi,” Thalheimer added.

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