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Cambridge to be home to new Centre for Digital Built Britain


By John Downing


The centre will champion the digital revolution to enable people to make better use of our cities and infrastructure
The centre will champion the digital revolution to enable people to make better use of our cities and infrastructure

Government announces £5.4million in funding for the launch of the new centre

Professor Andy Neely, Cambridge University pro-vice-chancellor for enterprise and business relations
Professor Andy Neely, Cambridge University pro-vice-chancellor for enterprise and business relations

Cambridge will be home to a new centre of excellence to champion the digital revolution in the built environment to enable people to make better use of our cities and infrastructure.

The government has announced £5.4million in funding for the launch of the Centre for Digital Built Britain.

It is a partnership between the University of Cambridge and the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to support the transformation of the construction sector using digital technologies to better plan, build, maintain and use infrastructure.

It will support delivery of the government’s Digital Built Britain strategy which aims to digitise the entire life-cycle of the nation’s built assets, finding innovative ways of delivering more capacity and improving how these assets can help to provide better public services.

Professor Andy Neely, pro-vice-chancellor for enterprise and business relations, will lead the centre. It will draw on expertise and experience from across the university, including the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) and the Cambridge Service Alliance, to form a ‘research bridgehead’.

This bridgehead will work with specialists from the Digital Built Britain programme, and partners from industry and academia, to develop policy and practical insights to exploit new and emerging technologies, data and analytics.

Prof Neely said: “The University of Cambridge is delighted to have been invited to host the Centre for Digital Built Britain, which will work in partnership with government and industry to improve the performance, productivity and safety of construction through the better use of digital technologies.”

Dr Jennifer Schooling, director of CSIC, said: “The construction and infrastructure sector are poised for a digital revolution, and Britain is well placed to lead it.

“Over the next decade advances in building information modelling (BIM) will combine with the Internet of Things, data analytics, data-driven manufacturing and the digital economy to enable us to plan new buildings and infrastructure more effectively, build them at lower cost, operate and maintain them more efficiently, and deliver better outcomes to the people who use it.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to put the breadth of research and industry engagement expertise from Cambridge at the heart of Digital Built Britain.”

By embedding BIM in government infrastructure projects such as Crossrail, the Digital Built Britain programme has already contributed significantly to the government’s £3 billion of efficiency savings between 2011 and 2015.

The Centre for Digital Built Britain will be formally launched in spring 2018 and be based in the Maxwell Centre in West Cambridge.

See more at www.cdbb.cam.ac.uk.



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