On 3 and 4 September the kick-off meeting of the Horizon 2020 project DigiPLACE took place in Brussels. DigiPLACE is an EU-funded project with a budget of €1 million aiming at assessing the feasibility of a European Digital Platform for Construction, which would integrate several digital technologies, applications and services.
The construction sector is a very specific industry characterised by a high majority of SMEs, low investment in innovation, and a long supply chain. Moreover, different languages, taxation, and regulatory frameworks are obstacles to synergies in the EU market. Although unique it its characteristics, the construction sector is facing the same global trends as other sectors related to the increasingly globalised market. A major challenge in this regard is the digitalisation of the construction value chains.
DigiPLACE aims to mark out the path for the digitalisation of the European construction industry, under the headline of “Construction 4.0”. This project is the first ever proposal targeting the digital transformation of the construction industry to receive funding from the Directorate‑General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT).
DigiPLACE is an ambitious attempt to enable the creation of a digital platform that could integrate the different technologies, applications and services currently existing in digital construction. Starting in September 2019 for 18 months, this project aims at creating a “Reference Architecture Framework” for a future industrial digital platform, allowing the coherent development of future initiatives and projects in the field of digital construction.
Under the lead of the Politecnico di Milano, the DigiPLACE project relies on an EU-wide consortium (19 partners from 11 countries), composed of an unprecedented collaboration between EU construction industry representatives, a strong academic partnership and the support of 3 National Ministries (Italy, France and Germany).
Eugenio Quintieri, EBC Secretary General, said: “We have never seen such a wide and representative cooperation of construction stakeholders participating in the same EU-funded project. This means that the sector wants to accelerate on its own digital transformation to further improve working conditions on construction sites, attract young people to the sector and make construction projects more predictable.”
EBC will be involved in several tasks of the project, particularly focusing on assessing technical and social digitalisation barriers in the uptake of digital technologies by SMEs, and on making proposals to overcome them.
|This project has received funding from the European Union’s H2020 programme under Grant Agreement No. 856943.|