The Government has approved plans to help the construction industry become better digitally connected.
HM Treasury has officially endorsed the ‘Data for the Public Good’ report, produced earlier this year by the National infrastructure Commission (NIC).
The Infrastructure Client Group (ICG) will take the lead on industry engagement, and work with relevant government departments and regulators to help formulate a comprehensive digital transformation strategy for the industry.
Announcing the Government’s approval of the plans, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick, said: “The Government is investing record amounts in UK infrastructure to deliver the roads, railways, schools and hospitals we need for the future.
“There is vast amounts of data and information on the UK’s infrastructure, but more must be done to ensure it is used in a strategic, joined-up way that unlocks its incredible potential for meeting the country’s long-term needs.
“What we’ve announced today will support this ambition to deliver smart and coordinated infrastructure networks, so vital projects like transport, housing and superfast broadband complement each other and ensure we are building a UK fit for the future.”
Dale Evans, Chair of the ICG, said: “It is clear that ‘digital’ offers real and significant opportunities to transform infrastructure performance, improving both the delivery of new assets and the performance of existing ones to deliver better outcomes for the ultimate customers.
“As the largest body of infrastructure clients in the UK, we have created a Digital Transformation Task Group, made up of representatives from all ICG organisations, which will work with the Digital Framework Task Group and lead on the implementation of this important agenda.”
The NIC’s recent report recognised that “data is part of infrastructure and needs maintenance in the same way that physical infrastructure needs maintenance”.
Adam Davis, a Partner with Palmers, who specialises in the construction sector, said: “The new digital framework will hopefully provide a more joined-up approach to the vast amount of data and information utilised by the sector and as part of this more connected way of working, will hopefully unlock the full potential of Building Information modelling (BIM).
“BIM is central to the UK’s digital transformation and, for the construction industry, it provides a massive opportunity to improve project delivery. Now, more than ever, it is vital that smaller construction firms embrace the new technology that is available in order to remain viable in the long-term.”
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