Last month we exhibited at the Construction Technology Summit. It was an amazing event that connected Australia’s leading contractors, developers and consultants with leading digital construction technology innovators to explore how the construction industry will be transformed by the next wave of digital innovation.
The ASX’s decision to block streaming firm Guvera’s float has added more fuel to the fire as technology firms rush to list on the stock exchange. But it’s not all doom and gloom, according to project software firm Aconex, which has now spent about 18 months as a publicly traded company.
Speaking at Aconex’s first Construction Technology Summit in Melbourne, which brought in about 50 construction firms and start-ups, Aconex chief executive Leigh Jasper said the Australian market was responding well to technology companies. But he said investors would need to do their homework.
“I don’t have a problem with companies listing very early in their life cycle, as long as investors fully understand where they’re at,” Mr Jasper told The Australian. “They need to understand they might lose everything and that they are a very different proposition to a mature company doing hundreds of millions in revenue.”
Mr Jasper said there was a segment of the market, particularly smaller mining stocks and technology companies, which could benefit from a second-tier platform.
“We had the Newcastle stock exchange, and there’s the Nasdaq, and AIM in the UK; I think having a market, or a segment of the market that allows riskier companies to go to market would be really beneficial,” Mr Jasper said. “I’d like to see those earlier stage companies separated out in some way from the later stage, more mature ones.”
As for the looming federal election, Mr Jasper would like to see tax rates remain competitive but more importantly wants both parties to retain a strong innovation agenda, and better direct money into education without necessarily spending more.
“I just want a government to make it easy for business,” he said. “I don’t want a government getting in the way; it needs to just allow innovation to happen, to facilitate it.”
Construction management start-up Progressclaim.com’s chief executive and founder Lincoln Easton wants something more specific. He wants to see building information modelling (BIM) mandated by the federal government. BIM provides common standards for defining a building, facility or asset along with common parts and activities, including building shape, design and construction time, costs, physical performance, logistics and more.
“It’s already mandated in the UK, and that means all buildings must be 3D modelled, even retrospectively,” he told The Australian on the conference sidelines. “It’d be a big boost for construction but also for facilities management, helping things like maintenance and servicing. It’s like the difference for a doctor using a flat 2D photo of someone’s internal organs to a fully 3D model.
“In an environment of intense competition and shrinking margins, builders need to be looking at how new technology can give them a competitive advantage rather than falling back into old practices.”
Mr Easton pointed to ABS data showing the construction sector consistently ranked in the bottom three innovative industries in Australia.
Read full article here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/
Contract Administrator, BUILT