The Government is investing £72 million into tech like virtual and augmented reality in a bid to transform the UK’s construction industry.
The funding is the result of the new Core Innovation Hub, an initiative that is part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, and looks to improve STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths) skills in the UK and boost related businesses and industries.
It has been contributed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and aims to help the building and construction sector to “design and build faster, more cheaply and more sustainably”, according to the Government.
Robotics, drones and VR
Tech such as robotics, drones and AR and VR will be used to speed up the building process, while smart sensors and digital systems will be installed into new buildings and infrastructure to enable them to “manage and maintain themselves”. These sensors will also collect data, which will be used to improve the design of future buildings, and “make towns and cities better places to live, work and travel in”, according to the Government.
The new Core Innovation Hub will be co-ordinated by the Transforming Construction Alliance (TCA), a group set up to transform construction through digital and advanced manufacturing tech, with three organisations working in the hub on research. These include the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), the Building Research Establishment (BRE), and Cambridge University’s Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB).
Improve hospitals, schools and homes
The aim is for construction and manufacturing industries to work together to create better public spaces, such as schools and hospitals, as well as private spaces, such as homes and offices.
Robert Jenrick, exchequer secretary to the treasury, says: “Our manufacturing industry is vital to the UK – this new fund will see it partner with construction and digital sectors to revolutionise the way we develop crucial infrastructure, and enable us to build in more efficient and cost-effective ways.”
The research also aims to improve the safety for construction workers on building sites.
For more information on the Government’s Industrial Strategy, head here.