Year in Infrastructure: Encouraging industry collaboration to bridge the productivity gap

Year in Infrastructure hosted by Bentley Systems, brings together the industry to discuss and share ideas, technology and ways of working which will shape how we design, build and manage projects.

The conference’s guest keynote speaker, Sir John Armitt CBE – chair of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) - spoke on the need for greater collaboration and communication in the industry in order to dramatically increase productivity. The NIC’s most recent report – the National Infrastructure Assessment - was launched in July this year and gave recommendations to the Government around developing the road network to facilitate electric and autonomous vehicles, tackling flooding issues and recommending support for specific large-scale projects, such as the Northern Powerhouse Rail link. Sir John discussed the assessment in his key note session, highlighting the important role communication and collaboration must play in order to help us reach these goals. This will only work if all parties are included - from the “consumer” (whether that’s a road user or a commuter) to Government bodies, contractors, architects and manufacturers.

So in theory we can build anything and everything we currently and will ever need – the limitation is cost and time. As an industry if we can improve our productivity and minimise or reduce wastages in both cost and time, we can build more and build smarter.

This theme echoes the goal of our Constructioneering Academy programme, which was launched one year ago at the 2017 Year In Infrastructure conference in Singapore. The initiative is designed to educate and engage the industry to encourage collaboration and improve productivity through entire workflows. The sessions take users through all stages of the construction process from planning to maintenance in order to demonstrate where data and productivity losses occur between all of the different parties and companies involved in a typical project. All of the sessions end with a collaborative discussion with attendees, and the insight from this then shapes future sessions. Topcon and Bentley have run eight academy sessions globally so far, with attendees from over 80 different organisations – ranging from Government bodies to contractors and surveyors.

Programmes such as the Constructioneering Academy which aim to increase collaboration - both on projects but also more widely among those within the industry - are one of the ways which we can tackle the productivity challenge we face as an industry.

Read more about our Constructioneering Academy here.


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