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Centre for Digital Built Britain

Blog: Alexandra Bolton on the recent launch of the Global Infrastructure Programme

This month Alexandra updates on current research funding, a new tender and the work of the international team, including the recently launched Global Infrastructure Programme, which is part of the Government’s Prosperity Fund.

I am excited that the six successful research networks have commenced. The first workshops are already scheduled, and CDBB is looking forward to taking part. All of the networks funded will also be presenting at the Summer Showcase on 30 July, along with the Mini-Projects funded earlier this year. There are only a few spaces left at the event, so I would advise booking soon if you are planning on attending!

We continue the work to map out the current research capability landscape and the definition of the future research agenda and will be issuing a series of tenders envisaged for late July/early August.  These tenders will invite interested groups to choose large or small parts of the landscape and we expect project budgets will reflect the scope and depth of work offered. These projects will begin as soon as possible, to deliver at the end of the calendar year.

This month our international team has been busy. The team, led by Adam Matthews and supported by Richard Lane, works globally with partner countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa in order to implement UK methodologies for infrastructure development that better enables the funding, designing, building, and delivery and which leads to better operation of key assets. The team is actively creating commercial opportunities between UK and partner countries by creating common understanding and establishing standards that support global trade. It is excellent that the CDBB and the International Team played an important role in the recently hosted visit of the Estonian Digital Construction Cluster Study Visit.

In addition, this month saw the launch of the ‘Global Infrastructure Programme’ (GIP) at the Prosperity Fund Business Forum in London on 20 June. The GIP supports the drivers to improve conditions in countries we are partnering with. It aims to address the infrastructure gap between current capacity and future needs in middle-income countries. CDBB will be providing the expertise around digital construction methodologies, training and workshops, and supporting the procurement exercise required for projects in the partner countries.

This month three countries – Columbia, Vietnam and Indonesia – have signed a memorandum of understanding between the UK Government and the designated partner country public officials. This is the first stage of a three-year commitment to collaborate. The CDBB international team will be working with policy officials and public sector professionals in these three pathfinder countries to deliver training and workshops that support the implementation of BIM L2. The final phase of the programme will include a pathfinder project, which might be, for example, a school, hospital or metro, that provides an opportunity to apply the adopted and adapted methodologies that will deliver transformational change, social benefits and bi-directional trade.

This is great reflection of the capacities and capabilities that we have developed over the past year working with industry, Government officials and academic organisations to transform the way we design, build, maintain and use our social and economic infrastructure. I look forward to sharing more news about this important work in the future.