Construction industry challenge now open for applications

To apply for this opportunity, visit the office web page here.

The Future of Construction Challenge is now open for applications from businesses looking for support to use 5G to develop innovations in the sector. Successful applicants will gain access to cutting edge technology and private 5G networks, a tailored acceleration curriculum, coaching, mentoring and expertise provided throughout the programme from experts at Telefonica UK (O2), Deloitte, Wayra, West Midlands 5G and the Digital Catapult.

5PRING has partnered with leading global infrastructure operator Ferrovial.

The partnership is launching a new challenge for innovative startups and small businesses to shape the future of the construction sector.

With construction output in the UK valued at more than £110 billion, accounting for 7% of GDP and employing around 10 million people, the sector is well positioned to benefit from the impact of deploying 5G solutions to increase efficiency and optimise processes such as asset monitoring, as well as reducing costs and emissions.

The Future of Construction challenge will provide startups and other small businesses with support in developing and scaling innovations targeted at the construction sector which harness the power of 5G to create a safe, dynamic and efficient construction industry, with a specific focus on:

●      Health & Safety and security
●      Logistics and site operations

Applicants with 5G-enabled solutions which leverage augmented reality, computer vision, IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and robotics, and are still relevant to the construction sector, are also encouraged to apply. 

The Future of Construction challenge offers successful companies’ access to cutting edge technology via a private 5G network, a tailored acceleration programme, as well as coaching, mentoring and expertise provided by experts from Ferrovial and the 5PRING consortium partners Telefonica UK (O2), Deloitte, Wayra and Digital Catapult.

Challenge areas

Health & Safety and Security 

Health & Safety and Security are key at Ferrovial. In complex large-scale building sites it is critical to set up secure access control and operational monitoring systems with real-time response to minimise H&S risks. Ferrovial is looking for innovators to leverage the capabilities of 5G for the following use cases.

  1. Flexible perimeter control and access monitoring systems for workers and vehicles
  2. Real-time operational tracking and warning systems to ensure worker safety

Currently different solutions are used including CCTV, sensors, wearables, as well as manual certification, but the turnaround is not in real-time and the system cannot be moved easily from one site to another. Ferrovial would be looking for devices and solutions that provides wireless and touchless verification and control, potentially leveraging mobile edge computer and computer vision, and real-time monitoring and response enabled by 5G to:

  • Check workers have the correct authorisation and PPE to enter the site, including entrance to high-risk areas and designated walkways, as well as to operate specific machinery.
  • Check vehicles or delivery trucks have the correct authorisation before entering the site, and following designated routes.
  • Ensure worker’s safe distance to machinery and real-time near-miss detection.

Logistics and site operations 

Ferrovial is looking for innovative solutions that can leverage 5G connectivity to coordinate logistics and operations around the construction sites to optimise efficiency and accuracy through the following use cases:

  1. Wayfinding: optimisation of tracking, management and distribution of construction materials arriving at sites.
  2. Worker assistance: AR for remote site simulation and daily briefing.
  3. Mobility: automated and autonomous vehicles for operations.

The proposed solutions could leverage augmented reality, computer vision, IoT, AI and robotics to:

  • Allow for a seamless journey from booking to delivery of construction materials to the appropriate location, with real-time monitoring and adaptability.
  • Allow for visual simulation and verification during different phases facilitating project planning and progress reviews, for example during the initial construction phase to check the positioning of different infrastructure elements, such as roads or tunnels.
  • Provide wayfinding and enable enhanced proximity-based content.
  • Enable immersive point of work briefings to workers and increase workers engagement.
  • Improve environmental performance and monitoring of carbon footprint, air quality, noise contamination, etc.
  • Automation of certain workflows and operations.

Other use cases 

Ferrovial is interested in transformative use cases and innovative solutions in construction and mobility, and welcomes applications from startups and SMEs with innovations in additional areas. These could include leveraging 5G to enable accurate, regular surveys of the construction sites and predictive maintenance of machinery, amongst others.