GCC’s construction sector should digitise through adoption of building technology

Posted on 8th May 2019

GCC’s construction sector should digitise through adoption of building technology
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According to *Constructionweekonline news report, the GCC’s construction sector has little choice but to digitise through the adoption of building technology, much of which is being developed by startups in the region, the programme manager of Abu Dhabi-based global accelerator Start AD, Hana Barakat, told Construction Week.

“[Construction firms] have to be receptive because they don’t have a choice anymore,” Barakat said in an episode of Construction Week Viewpoint, a weekly podcast series published on Soundcloud and iTunes by Construction Week.

“[Companies] are realising that they need to open and receptive to [new technologies]; they need to invest in innovation in any way – either through paid pilots, through working with startups, or by investing in startups.”

Barakat manages the Start AD Venture Launchpad, a 10-sprint accelerator linked to emerging UAE industries.

Open to global seed-stage hardware-, artificial intelligence-, and internet of things-led startups, the scheme is designed to equip organisations so they can launch pilot projects with industry leaders.

Anchored at New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi, and powered by its Abu Dhabi partner Tamkeen, Start AD has four programme partners – Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre; real estate firm Imkan; construction giant Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC); and Abu Dhabi Municipality.

“[Construction] is a very traditional sector,” Barakat added.

“It is extremely competitive, and it cannot sustain itself. It needs to start incorporating more technology. 

“Not only does CCC have an innovation department, but it is also co-investing in some of these startups. Saint-Gobain in France are also doing the same.”

The latest cohort at Start AD Venture Launchpad brought together 11 startups from eight countries.

These startups are engaged in industries relevant to UAE businesses, such as predictive maintenance; autonomous building management systems; geospatial data analytics for urban space planning and management; and products for sustainable modular housing.

Hana’s full podcast with will be made available at midday on Monday, 13 May, 2019 through Construction Week’s SoundCloud and iTunes accounts. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with all podcasts from CW Viewpoint.

*News source: https://www.constructionweekonline.com/business/182399-abu-dhabi-start-up-accelerator-construction-has-no-choice-but-to-adopt-tech

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