The European construction sector is facing two challenging demographic trends: a persistent labour shortage and the aging of the existing workforce. To address these phenomena, it is essential to attract youth and new talents by making the sector more appealing, as well as to adopt breakthrough technologies adapted to SMEs. These technologies could help to get construction tasks done with more efficacy and less costs, and at the same time engage youngsters and groups currently underrepresented in the construction workforce.
To contribute to the efforts in this field, EBC virtually met for the first time its new 22 partners from all over Europe in the new EU-funded project “BEEYONDERS – Breakthrough European tEchnologies Yielding cOnstruction sovereigNty, Diversity & Efficiency of ResourceS” during a pre-Kick-off meeting held on 6 July. The official Kick-off Meeting is to be held physically in Madrid next September. Co-funded by Horizon Europe, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, the project Beeyonders will run for a period of 42 months, with a total budget of EUR 8 million.
Under the coordination of the Spanish large contractor Acciona Construcción, BEEYONDERS ambitions to take a leap forward in the design, development, and integration in real construction scenarios of breakthrough technologies in the field of health and safety and efficiency of resources. With a primary focus on European technological independence, the project will however also go well-beyond the European boundaries with specific missions to Japan to strengthen collaboration with local experts, notably in relation with a maritime construction case study foreseen in the project.
More specifically, Beeyonders will conduct research and activities addressing how technology can help tackling the labour shortage, lack of digital skills and limited participation of women in construction, improve the safety and well-being of workers, and contribute to the efforts for a better use of resources in the sector. To this end, the project will benefit of pilot cases in the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Finland.
The projects’ scope fits into the trend towards a greater and inclusive digitalisation of the construction sector, with EBC being mainly involved in the assessment of the impact of the identified technologies on construction SMEs, the development of training material addressing the green and digital skills needs of construction companies, and the EU-wide dissemination of the main projects’ findings.
Stay tuned to learn more about the activities of Beeyonders, a website should soon be available!