Call for UK task force to drive adoption of new technology – New Civil Engineer

Posted: July 19, 2020 at 11:08 pm

The uptake of new technology in the construction industry can be boosted easily and cheaply through the creation of a new government task force, according to a technology and acquisitions advisor.

Speaking at a press briefing last week (16 July), Paul Cuatrecasas, CEO of strategic advisory firm Aquaa Partners, said that a lot of established companies in the industry are on their knees and require government input to help drive the adoption of new technologies like robotics, virtual reality, smart materials and artificial intelligence.

The government can help but not in the way that its helped in the past with just granting funds for projects, Cuatrecasas said. What I think should happen and this can be done quickly, easily and cheaply is the government should bring together a task force or team of five to 10 people that are focused on one thing: identifying every interesting technology company in the world.

The list of international technology companies should then be narrowed down to a list of 30 to 50 firms that the government wants to support through joint ventures with established UK businesses, Cuatrecasas added.

Its not difficultI think the UK could become a leader without actually having to spend a lot of money, he said.

But while government input is important, getting buy-in from the industry is also crucial. Cuatrecasas admitted his frustration that many firms have their heads in the sand and a general inertia when it comes to adopting innovation and new technologies.

Cuatrecasas warned companies that fail to embrace new technologies risk following the fate of travel firm Thomas Cook Group, which collapsed in September 2019.

Thomas Cook was more focused on refinancing its main loan than it was realising that 500 stores were redundant because we all have the ability to book a trip on our smartphone, Cuatrecasas said.

It was mindset that took Thomas Cook down. I think were seeing the exact same thing with these companies. Its a shame, but it doesnt have to be that way. And its not too late.

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Call for UK task force to drive adoption of new technology - New Civil Engineer

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