Digital Construction Week Reflections: How ConTech can Modernise the Construction Sector

With Digital Construction Week 2021 now behind us, we reflect on an incredible few days of conversation and learning with industry leaders across the construction sector.

Last month we had the pleasure of presenting at Digital Construction Week, the industry leading event dedicated to digital construction, engineering, design, manufacturing and operation across the UK. With hundreds of industry experts, tech solution providers, and thought leaders in attendance, this year’s event showcased the best in innovation across the UK construction technology market. We were delighted to be joined by many of these individuals for our panel discussion, ‘Bridging the Gap: How ConTech can Modernise the Construction Industry’.

The Speakers

Led by George Dobbins, co-founder of Beaumont Bailey, this discussion took place in the Transformation Hub and included a fantastic panel of guest speakers.

  • Adrian Pinder – A leading figure in the digital transformation space, with over 15 years of experience in helping companies scale their digital strategies. As the Digital Product & Solutions Transformation Director for Jacobs, Adrian leads the digital innovation efforts for the organisation and its clients.
  • Alain Waha – An experienced CTO and technology start-up founder helping global organisations scale their digital solutions on an international level. As the CTO for Buro Happold, Alain specialises in driving investment to technology that can modernise and innovate the built environment.
  • George Holder – A highly-skilled Partnerships Manager, specialising in corporate finance, strategy and innovation. As the Venture Partnerships Manager for Mott MacDonald, George helps to invest in early-stage, infrastructure focused start-ups that have the potential to drive innovation and change in the global built environment ecosystem.
Digital Construction Week, ExCel London

The Discussion

With productivity reporting for construction remaining at a 50-year stagnated level, the sector is currently one of the lowest performing industries for productivity throughout the UK economy. This panel discussion explored the current state-of-play in the UK construction market and the opportunities that technology presents for improved performance and innovation, focusing on the exciting work being undertaken to drive transformation.

 

What are the biggest opportunities that technology offers the construction sector?

Key talking points: Sustainability, Employability

The panel explored the role that technology will play in future-proofing the construction industry. Off the back of COP26, global industries are now tasked with developing effective strategies to tackle the climate crisis and work towards net-zero goals. Climate tech and GreenTech solutions are coming to the forefront, helping to offer avenues for a more sustainable future in construction. Investments in sustainable tech also present an opportunity for the construction sector to attract the next generation of construction professionals. By aligning to the aspirations and beliefs of future leaders, we’re best-placed to attract top talent to the sector.

How can traditional construction companies incorporate technology into their business model?

Key talking points: Project delivery solutions

Technology presents a fantastic opportunity for traditional construction companies to improve their project delivery processes. From software solutions that streamline project tasks, to on-site mapping solutions that offer real-time updates on project progress. Emerging technology presents an exciting chance for construction companies to really future-proof their operations, improve productivity, and increase profitability.

Digital Construction Week: (L-R) George Dobbins, George Holder, Alain Waha, Adrian Pinder

Key Takeaways

  • Adrian Pinder – ‘Move fast, take risks’. Technology and innovation moves at such a fast pace. Construction companies need to be ready to take risks and invest in emerging technology that will have long-term benefits for the company.
  • Alain Waha – ‘Find great partners that are doing great things’. Look for partners that are driving positive, long-term change across the sector. Seek out companies and people that you truly believe in.
  • George Holder – ‘It’s people that make the change’. Positive transformation and innovation in the sector requires the right people spearheading your operations. Make sure you’re building good teams and investing in people and products that can make the changes you want to see.