Construction technology Ireland

Earlier this week Geospatial World published an article entitled ‘Irish Government Seeks Consortia to Deliver Build Digital Project for Construction Sector’. The article reports on the Irish Government launching a “competitive challenge-based grant call” that will deliver the Build Digital Project for the Construction Sector for 2021. 

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, recently made the announcement and the team behind the project – established by the industry – are now tasked with delivering the seven actions that were outlined in the KPMG Future Analytics Consulting Building Innovation Report (an economic analysis of productivity trends).

Minister McGrath has stated: 

Build Digital aims to ensure that world-class digital practices are adopted throughout the industry and supply chain in order to achieve a more sustainable and innovative sector from top to bottom. It will provide guidance and leadership on the necessary digital tools, standards, approaches, and training required by all across the sector, and in particular small and medium-sized firms who may have yet to realize the full benefits of digital approaches. Increasing innovation in the Irish Construction Sector is more necessary than ever over the coming years in order to deliver on the ambitions set out in the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 investment strategy.

Applications are due by January 15th 2021 to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for collaborations between higher education facilities and Research Performing Organisations (RPOs). The successful applicant will be chosen in March 2021. This applicant will be eligible to receive up to €500,000 public grant funding annually for up to five years while continuing to meet requirements of the grant agreements. Throughout this project, there will be many opportunities for industry participation and the public funding will also be supplemented by the industry. 

A representative from the CIF has said: 

CIF welcomes today’s launch of this call for consortia to lead the Build Digital Project and recognize it as a critical step in the advancement of our industry towards a digital transformation. Successfully delivered the project can be an enabler for regionally balanced delivery of Project Ireland 2040 and should promote the advancement of our SME’s. With the establishment of the project, the industry can look forward to a coordinated approach to the implementation of standards, development of nationally aligned training programs and in time facilitate a mandate supporting the digital procurement of public and private sector projects.

Last month Enterprise Ireland, along with the IDA, the CIF and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, hosted a webinar about the ‘Next Generation Construction of Capital Assets in Ireland – Innovation for International Investors’ and spoke about how the Build Digital Grant Call Out created this opportunity. 

PJ Rudden, Chair of the CSG Innovation and Digital Adoption Sub-group has said: 

Build Digital is one of 7 priority actions to raise construction productivity levels. Also included is a new Construction Technology Centre by Enterprise Ireland, a move to high quality offsite and modular methods of construction, addressing the built environment skills shortages, and digitizing the planning permission application system to speed up pre construction planning approvals. These 7 new integrated actions will combine to better deliver Project Ireland 2040 and the National Development Plan. It means building to much higher technical standards, delivering on time, and within approved budgets. Our future construction will be green as well as digital. That means meeting our sustainability and climate action targets.