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Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

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The latest Smart Infrastructure Blog, published today, 1 December, is written by Ann Allen, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (CICES), who sets out three challenges to ensure that advances in technology and digital transformation bring opportunities throughout the construction sector.

In the blog titled ‘Digital change, new technology and opportunity for all’, Allen acknowledges the disruption to industry caused by the pandemic but urges leadership to take ownership of embracing new ways to work together, writing: “Moving to a digital world should not rely on future disrupters to make us take action and change. Across the industry we should take the lead, work together, seize the opportunity and plan and embrace new ways of working and new methods of construction.

The blog makes the case for learning from other industries to progress setting out the first of three challenges: “My first challenge to you is to encourage you to ask your own companies how often they look beyond their own operations at what others are doing and consider what they can learn.” Maximising opportunities for all, from small construction firms to large corporates, is key and brings Allen to her second challenge: “How can we expect small businesses primarily focused on just getting the next job to invest in new technology and to consider a digital future? So, my second challenge to you is to collaborate across our industry to ensure digital opportunities are shared by the many and not just the few.”

New skills are integral to future success and Allen acknowledges the need to attract new talent to construction as part as the journey towards digital change. However, she is mindful of remaining an accessible industry where “regardless of background someone could join and with the right capability and drive be highly successful”. This leads Allen to her final challenge that concludes the blog: “How do we ensure that we keep all pathways into the industry open to everyone and continue to play a role in inclusive economic growth? My final challenge to you is to focus on developing the right skills for the future and to ensure that our industry is welcoming to everyone with those skills.”

• Read the Smart Infrastructure Blog 'Digital change, new technology and opportunity for all’ here.

 

 

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