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Shaping the Future of Construction: A Breakthrough in Mindset and Technology

The Engineering and Construction sector has been hesitant about fully embracing the latest technological opportunities, and its labor productivity has stagnated accordingly. Despite various internal and external challenges, however, the industry has vast potential for improving productivity and efficiency, thanks to digitalization, innovative technologies and new construction techniques. Realizing this potential will require a committed and concerted effort by the industry across many aspects, from technology, operations and strategy to personnel and regulation.

This Industry Agenda report, prepared by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group, begins with an assessment of the industry’s present state and the global trends that will impact on the industry. It then introduces a conceptual industry-transformation framework, listing a number of measures, grouped in eight topical areas, that would profoundly change the industry system:

  • Technology, materials and tools;
  • Processes and operations;
  • Strategy and business model innovation;
  • People, organization and culture;
  • Industry collaboration;
  • Joint industry marketing;
  • Regulation and policies; and
  • Public procurement.

The 30 measures among these areas are classified into three groups based on whether they are taken by private companies on their own, by companies in collaboration with their peers (or by the industry as a whole), or by the government, acting both as the regulator and as a major project owner. For each of the topical areas, the report identifies current best practices, and provides illustrative case studies of innovative approaches, to prepare for the industry’s transformation.

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