For the first time, four organisations of major industries (CECE, Construction Products Europe, FIEC and EBC) got together on this topic at the highest political level and invited their respective members and other partners to attend a digital construction seminar on February 22, 2018 in Brussels, as part of the European Industry Day. The European construction industry has moved closer to its vision of a common European digital construction strategy.
“As this will be crucial to master the digital transformation of the industry along the value chain, I am really satisfied with the course and the outcome of today’s pilot event”, said CECE President Enrico Prandini.
With their approach on digitalisation, the sectors are contributing to the fine-tuning and concrete implementation of the European Industrial Policy Strategy.
"We need a strategic approach towards digital construction" said Fulvia Raffaelli, Head of Unit, DG GROW, underlining that DG GROW supports the vision of the construction value chain working together with the European Commission towards the common goal of developing a digital platform for the construction sector.
“Having a collaborative and inclusive strategy for the European construction industry will help us to figure out where our industry wants to be” said Kjetil Tonning, FIEC President Elect. “We need to work together with existing players in the value chain, public and private, large firms and SMEs, new market entrants, researchers and clients as well as investors.”
With their approach on digitisation, the sectors are contributing to the fine-tuning and concrete implementation of the European Industrial Policy Strategy.
“As digitisation will transform the whole construction industry, it is important that the main actors come together to discuss the various options and look for synergies. Yesterday’s successful event will surely be followed by many other such exchanges as the European construction industry strives to lead the world in all these technological developments”, stressed Construction Products Europe Director General, Christophe Sykes.
The digital seminar was opened by Emil Karanikolov, Bulgarian Minister of Economy, the country currently holding the EU presidency. In his opening speech the Minister underlined that digital innovation was key for the European construction sector to remain competitive, a global leader and to achieve the EU's ambitious targets.
In their discussion, the panel of experts and representatives of the industries made clear that the construction sector is ready to embrace digitisation, whether it be Building Information Modelling (BIM), IoT, big data, drones, or autonomous driving. Especially in view of climate change commitments, the motto must simply be to do more with less.
“The event has shown the strong commitment of participants, all key European players of the construction industry, to support the digital transformation of the sector” said Philip van Nieuwenhuizen, EBC Director. “In doing that, we need to make sure that construction SMEs and craftsmen keep up in the definition and in reaping the benefits of digital tools, by facilitating their accessibility and use with the support of the whole construction value chain.”
One of the major challenges of the sectors will be to develop and standardise digital networking solutions to enable cooperative, safe and efficient collaboration of all decentralised parties on a construction site.
The digital seminar was attended by more than 100 representatives from companies, organisations, politics and the press. The organisations announced that they would continue their path and create more opportunities to discuss these issues with the value chain representatives and the policy makers in Brussels.