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Infrastructure blog

Evolving infrastructure - ICE report on digital future

24 January 2017

How will technologies from autonomous vehicles to machine learning affect our infrastructure and how we build it? ICE’s Kelly Forbes discusses a new ICE report on the topic.

Evolving infrastructure - ICE report on digital future

This March, ICE will publish the latest in its suite of State of the Nation policy reports, this time focusing on the digital transformation in the infrastructure sector

It is well known that the construction sector has been slow to engage with the uptake of new digital processes and technology. In a recent McKinsey index of key sectors, construction sits just above Agriculture & Hunting. And 64% of firms operating in Europe and the Middle East are rated as either “industry following” or “behind the curve” in terms of technology adoption. The industry has been slow to reap the productivity and innovation benefits of improved digital uptake which have been enjoyed by other sectors in recent years.

Ready for change?

The rise of disruptive new technologies will change not only the shape of our industry, but also the built environment itself.

Autonomous vehicles, machine learning, the internet of things, artificial intelligence and other disruptive technologies will change not only how we use our existing infrastructure and demands placed upon it, but also the skills required to design, build and maintain it.

Additionally, the uptake of new technologies and better specification and use of data have implications for security, the structure of the sector, as well as how projects are specified and funded. These are issues policy makers, industry and built environment professionals have to be ready for.

State of the Nation 2017: Digital Transformation

Guided by a steering group drawn from across industry, the report will make recommendations to policy makers and industry to enable all stakeholders to make the most of these opportunities. These recommendations are based on evidence gathered from workshops around the UK, a members’ survey, call for views, focused interviews and a literature review.

This report, based on wide-ranging evidence gathering, will explore the challenges and opportunities which face our industry and infrastructure. If you would like to get involved, or learn more, please contact Kelly Forbes, ICE Policy Manager at [email protected].

  • Kelly Forbes, policy manager at ICE