The EDIH (European Digital Innovation Hub) “CONNECT” has set itself the ambition of facilitating the adoption of digital technologies in the Construction sector and encouraging the emergence of Construction 4.0. Led by Wallonia via a network of partners, this project fits in with the dynamics of Digital Wallonia’s “Construction 4.0” programme.
This EDIH (European Digital Innovation Hubs) project is led by the CSTC (Centre Scientifique et Technique de la Construction, or Scientific and Technical Construction Centre) and includes UCLouvain–ICTEAM, CeREF Technique, the GreenWin competitiveness cluster, Jobs@Skills and the Confédération Construction Wallonne (Wallonia’s Construction Confederation, CCW), which means that it can count on a large number of stakeholders in the construction sector.
The EDIH will be drawing on the Construction 4.0 demonstrator project (BUILD4WAL) supported by the Agence du Numérique (AdN) and co-funded by Wallonia. This is a centre dedicated to demonstrating and trialling digital technologies for the construction sector, based on a three-fold approach:
- a mobile hub to go out and meet SMEs (a lorry equipped with digital technologies including drones, augmented reality headsets, exoskeletons, 3D laser scanners etc.),
- a permanent demonstration space for all the different fields involved,
- a "smart" building in use.
Thanks to this infrastructure, the only one of its kind in Wallonia and in Europe, members of the EDIH are keen to make a name for themselves on the European stage as a centre of excellence when it comes to Digital Construction. It will therefore be able to help digital businesses in Wallonia export their specific savoir-faire to the rest of Europe, while also encouraging the digital transformation in an industry that is worth a lot to the economy (13% of the added value, 17% of total private jobs) and whose digital maturity is still somewhat lacking.
6 priority themes
This EDIH "Digital Construction" project encompasses cutting-edge expertise within a relatively small radius, and will focus on 6 themes that have been identified as essential for the sector, as well as being sources of economic and social opportunity :
- Productivity & Quality.
- Sustainable Development & Resilience.
- Employee Safety.
- New Products & Business Models.
- Cultural transformation focusing on the individual (a cross-cutting theme).
AI and the IoT as technological pillars
The main technological pillars on which the DIH will be based are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). They will help to unleash the use the exponential volume of data generated in construction (design, execution, use and circularity) and make it profitable on a large scale, as well as developing an approach that will underpin the decision-making process based on data.