The first official meeting of DigiPLACE took place earlier this week in Brussels. DigiPLACE is an EU-funded project with a budget of €1 million aiming at creating a roadmap for a Digital Platform for Construction in Europe. The digital industrial platform is an operating system that integrates different technologies and various applications and services.
The digital revolution
In modern economy, digitalisation is a major driver of productivity growth across industries and services. To remain competitive in an increasingly globalised market, the EU economy must transform itself digitally. The construction sector is characterised by a high presence of SMEs, low capitalisation, a low rate of higher educated employees, low investment in innovation, and a long supply chain. Moreover, in the EU market, different languages, taxation, and regulatory frameworks are obstacles to synergies.
The value chains of the future will be integrated and digitalised. The key to achieving modernization of construction is the modernization of the business environment and of the innovation environment. The most important concept for achieving this are platforms. Platforms have proved extremely successful in modernizing many consumer-oriented businesses – both the business as well as the innovation aspect. For the digital native businesses and technologies this transition has been quite natural. Not so for traditional industries.
Pioneering innovation for the construction industry
DigiPLACE will address those issues and exploit the EU added value. Indeed, this project is about charting the modernization path of European construction industry under the headline of Construction 4.0. As one of the project partners puts it, “Construction 4.0 is our "branch" of Industry 4.0. We use this term to refer to the digitalisation of the construction industry. BIM is central to Construction 4.0 but it is not the only element”.
This project is the first ever proposal targeting the digital transformation of the construction industry to receive EU funding from Directorate‑General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT).
DigiPLACE is a framework allowing the development of future digital platforms as common ecosystems of digital services that will support innovation, commerce, etc. The project will define a Reference Architecture Framework for digital construction platform based on an EU-wide consensus of a large community of stakeholders. This will result in a strategic roadmap for successful implementation of this architecture.
It will rely on a relevant set of partners, linked third parties and an Advisory Board. The consortium, composed of an unprecedented collaboration between EU construction industry representatives, a strong academic partnership and the support of 3 countries’ public authorities will work together during 18 months. From September 2019, the project partners will collaborate to create the framework for the digital platform. The 19 partners from 11 countries led by Politecnico di Milano will pave the way for future projects in the field of digital construction.
A full calendar of public events will be defined soon, starting from a Launch Conference in the framework of the Digital & BIM Italia event taking place in Bologna, Italy on 21st and 22nd November – the event will be open to the public and free of charge. More information will be shared soon on www.digiplaceproject.eu (website currently under construction) and on our website.