A day of digital workshops aimed to tackle real problems in the construction industry.

The Driving Digital Construction Innovation Day was organised by regional IT champions Dynamo North East and hosted at the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead.

More than 70 delegates from 31 regional companies addressed four unique challenges, each put forward by North East based organisations.

Delegates could choose which of the challenges they could tackle. The challenges faced were:

  • Driving Traceability, suggested by the IC3 project

This group looked at how the construction industry defines the scope and information requirements for the ‘Digital Record’ of a building, as recommended in the Hackitt Review after the Grenfell Tower tragedy;

  • Driving Efficiency, suggested by Northumbrian Water

This challenge looked at how Northumbrian Water could successfully collect digital data to efficiently manage all of their assets;

  • Driving Capability, suggested by Bowmer & Kirkland

For this challenge, delegates looked at how the sector could use technology to overhaul an outdated and expensive paper-based supply chain capability assessment process;

  • Driving Change, suggested by Your Homes Newcastle

This group looked at how Your Homes Newcastle could successfully manage cultural change and impact alongside the adoption of BIM.

Groups worked together on their respective challenges before presenting their solutions to all of the delegates at the end of the day.

Anne Macdonald, Engagement Manager at Dynamo, said: “We were delighted at the engagement and enthusiasm showed by all who attended our inaugural Driving Digital Construction Innovation Day. There was a genuine sense of co-operation and collaboration on the day and I’m confident that the conversations will continue. What we achieved in a day was amazing and it’s so exciting to think what more we could do through continuing conversations.

“The aim of the day was to bring together a wide selection of the region’s talent from across all sectors, disciplines, organisations and backgrounds (not just construction) to join forces, pool ideas and experience, to develop creative solutions to industry wide construction problems.

“I’d like to think that what the four groups came up with were realistic solutions to the problems presented to them. I’d like to thank our sponsors Waterstons for supporting the day, and Professor Rebecca Strachan, Faculty Associate Pro Vice Chancellor at Northumbria University for her help and for presenting certificates to delegates after the groups had presented their solutions.

“I certainly think we’ll be repeating the day next year.”

Alistair McLeod, Director at Waterstons and a member of Dynamo’s Digital Construction Cluster, added: “It was a brilliant day, there was so much ambition and energy put into creating solutions to real problems. Delegates came from the digital, construction and manufacturing sectors.

“During our cluster discussions we’ve talked about what collaboration might look like – I think after the Driving Digital Construction Innovation Day we now know. I think this is the start of a journey for our cluster, but we have demonstrated that working together we can solve real-life problems.”

Dynamo was established in 2013 by Charlie Hoult and Bob Paton, then Managing Director of Accenture, and works to grow the north-east IT economy through promoting the region as a hub for the enterprise IT sector. It is made up of IT organisations, technology hubs, educational establishments, local government and employer support initiatives, and is focused on growing the region’s tech sector.

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