Germany is an exciting market for digital transformation proponents – this is probably the best takeaway from the 2020 Bautec show in Berlin.
During the successful event in February we saw German construction industry actors being extremely open for exchanging business experiences with their Norwegian counterparts, who were invited to participate in Bautec as partners.
Cobuilder was one of the 14 companies that took part in the Norwegian Pavilion at Bautec. The shared exhibition space was organised as a joint project of The Norwegian Embassy in Berlin, Innovation Norway and The German-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce.
Leading the way with data-driven BIM, environmentally friendly materials, zero-emission construction sites and intelligent, energy-efficient buildings, Norway is Germany’s first choice for a partner in securing a clear path towards a better future for the construction industry.
Horst Seehofer, the German minister of the Interior, Building, and Community and Jon Hansen, Minister Counselor cutting the ribbon at Bautec 2020
Transforming a global industry is not a job for a single country or region.
Horst Seehofer, the German minister of the Interior, Building, and Community and Jon Hansen, Minister Counselor at the Royal Norwegian Embassy Berlin were among the delegates who opened the Norwegian Pavilion in the spirit of collaboration between the two partnering countries.
Collaboration through technology was precisely the topic on everyone’s lips during the initial networking facilitated by the stand organisers.
On the one hand, Germany is ranked the most innovative economy in the world according to the 2020 Bloomberg Innovation index. High-tech density is extremely high and the business environment is ripe for putting technology to good use.
On the other hand, the Nordic approach that heavily relies on standardisation and research and development spending is seen as the key to establishing common European business interests and advancing the sector at a steady pace.
Putting technological prowess and common open standards together is the right recipe to ensure that no single organisation, country or region is stuck ‘reinventing the wheel’, while the global sector moves forward.
Andrea Minerdo, VP Global Sales at Cobuilder
Digitisation – and now what?
In his keynote Andrea Minerdo, VP Global Sales at Cobuilder, focused exactly on what is needed to keep the ‘wheels turning’ for construction industry actors. Among high-technological trends, such as AI, digital twins, drone construction etc., there is one thing in common – all trends are and will be data-driven and increase the need of interoperable data.
That is why, the EU standardisation bodies, such as CEN, CENELEC, are focusing their efforts on putting the standards for construction data management out on the table as their first priority.
All ‘fancy digital make-up’ is easily washed away if digital transformation strategies are too generic to reach the operational level. What Andrea calls ‘digital make-up’ creates a gap between different actors of the supply chain increasing the lack of confidence in their own company data. This has a direct link to business – reducing market share and affecting sales.
‘Without a standard approach to improving data quality for the global value chain, fancy new technologies become a risk for innovative leaders. What is the use of creating Digital Twins that in reality will be Digital Grandfathers?’ – asked Andrea during the panel discussion after his presentation.
‘There is no use of low-quality data when the assumption is that it will be updated and shared for generations. We have to think of those future digital passports of buildings today. Let’s make sure that data fits the regulatory requirements so that we can ensure our and our children’s safety. Let’s ensure that it can be shared from machine to machine and across the future digital solutions that will be developed by future forward-thinkers. This is how we will be doing it right.’
Panel discussion on the digitisation efforts in Germany
The way forward is clear
As a Norwegian company that firmly believes in common approaches, Cobuilder has seen great results working with those companies that understand the importance of structuring data in line with standards in order to improve the data quality. Standards are designed to help organisations to better manage processes, they are not just a regulatory pain.
Standards affect the core business of many companies today. Digital transformation is now the single most important factor that will allow construction businesses to thrive. We saw that the German audience was extremely receptive to these messages and this makes us hopeful.
All in all, it was a great experience to be part of the Norwegian Pavilion at Bautec 2020. We extend a big thank you to The Norwegian Embassy in Berlin, Innovation Norway and The German-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce for creating this great opportunity for Cobuilder.