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Infrastructure blog

Infrastructure and technology explained: The Evolution of InfraTech report

30 October 2017

Pinsent Masons in association with ICE and techUK have published a new report on the convergence of technology and infrastructure sectors. The Evolution of InfraTech report explores the opportunities for both sectors – as well as for investors.

Infrastructure and technology explained: The Evolution of InfraTech report

The language of ‘digital’ is a crowded space. There are dozens of competing and contested terms, taken to means a host of things by different users. The infrastructure and built environment space is far from immune – smart cities, intelligent infrastructure, digital delivery – a broad range of new terminology is emerging.

What do we mean by InfraTech?

So what is ‘InfraTech’? It is characterised as ‘the deployment or integration of digital technologies with physical infrastructure to deliver efficient, connected, resilient and agile assets’.

Technology and data are increasingly driving and disrupting infrastructure projects. What does that mean for an industry where many players don't yet have fully developed digital strategies and how will they respond to the new risks and possibilities?

And how will technology firms take advantage of the new opportunities, and navigate new risks that these major projects present?

Our Evolution Of InfraTech report argues that both the technology and infrastructure sectors need to further engage with each other to drive a new era of ‘InfraTech’ and take full advantage of digital transformation.

The UK is at the forefront of this movement and ICE President Professor Tim Broyd said:

“The UK is getting better at delivering large and complex infrastructure. We now have a succession of projects such as Heathrow Terminal 5, the Olympics and Crossrail, all of which are running better than the one before. Technology plays a part in this. The world is looking closely at what we’re doing in the UK and wants to learn from us.”

Technology is driving infrastructure says survey

A survey of 300 top infrastructure, technology and investment CEOs revealed:

  • Technology is a deciding factor in new infrastructure projects. 97% of respondents say that the quality of technology and the level of its integration are increasingly decisive in new infrastructure project bids.
  • Collaboration is coming. 53% of infrastructure firms surveyed and 43% of tech firms expect to enter into a joint venture with the other side in the next three years. Similarly, 53% of infrastructure firms and 45% of tech firms expect to enter into a private-public partnership that includes the other side over the same period.
  • Technology is a major draw for investors in greenfield and brownfield Infratech projects. 98% of investors in greenfield sites say the inclusion of technology as part of a greenfield bid will make them more likely to support it in the next three years. Meanwhile, 96% of brownfield investors say, over the next three years, the presence of technology will make them more likely to invest in an infrastructure project.

You can access the full report here.

  • Kelly Forbes, policy manager at ICE