Cadbeam wins Innovate UK grant to create BIM-enabled app

Cadbeam is the latest construction app to receive funding from Innovate UK. The app, which aims to increase efficiency onsite through the use of real-time reporting, has been awarded cash to help make it BIM compatible by the end of 2016.

The funding will be used to investigate how the app will best work within a BIM environment and create a roadmap to developing a BIM compatible version of the software.

French engineers Alex Spieser and Laurent Biancardini conceived the app after they saw the potential for digital products to improve the construction industry. 

Described by Spieser as a “dedicated app to streamline the construction management process”, it tracks the progress of individual tasks in real-time to increase transparency and reduce time spent creating reports.

With one set of data stored on the cloud, up-to-date plans and documents are available to everyone working on the project, which means that no one should have out-dated information.

Cadbeam tracks individual tasks in real time on mobile devices

By increasing the information available to those working on a project Spieser believes that construction can become more efficient. “Data is an enabler to improve performance onsite. The first step to increasing efficiency on site is to have a more transparent way of working,” he explains.

Spieser believes that innovation in the construction industry has been stifled as contractors themselves cannot spend enough on research: “Because the margins in the construction industry are very low, in-house R&D is rather limited – this is hindering the industry’s ability to innovate,” he says.

This means that there are great opportunities for start-ups such as his “to provide the industry with the tools it needs to improve performance on site”, he continues.

And it is in the UK that he believes there are the greatest opportunities. The engineers moved to London a year ago to develop the app after gaining funding from the Sirius programme, a UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) initiative to help overseas graduates who have innovative business ideas set up in the UK.

According to the engineer London offers their company the best chance to succeed due to the strength and size of the UK’s construction industry: “The UK market is amazing, it’s the biggest in Europe, so being here in London gives us a strategic advantage,” he says. “We can demonstrate our app to a huge range of clients and Costain is providing feedback on the app at the moment.”

The app will be available in April, with contractors charged a fee per month for each user signed up to the system.

Read more about Cadbeam here

Because the margins in the construction industry are very low, in-house R&D is rather limited – this is hindering the industry’s ability to innovate.– Alex Spieser, CADBEAM

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