UK: Top 5 Opportunities to Harness Smart Infrastructure

UK: Top 5 Opportunities to Harness Smart Infrastructure

The United Kingdom’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) is embarking on an ambitious ten-year plan titled Transforming Infrastructure Performance (TIP). This plan is aimed at improving the delivery of economic and social infrastructure.

The plan defines how the government will work with the construction industry to design, build, and operate transport, energy networks, schools, prisons, hospitals, and other public works.

By focusing on effectiveness rather than volume, the plan aims to close the construction productivity gap, representing an opportunity of £15 billion a year, and ensure UK’s infrastructure serves its communities in both the near and long-term.

Technology will play an increasingly crucial role in this plan, not only helping TIP build smarter new infrastructure, but also improving how current operational assets perform.

Therefore, TIP had to envision what harnessing smarter infrastructure will look like across the sector and they identified the following opportunities:

1. Data

Data will drive effective decisions, prioritising investment in schemes that meet the needs of users and maximise the wider socioeconomic and environmental outcomes for society.

Benchmarks will measure whole-life costs, schedule, in-service performance, and the delivery of benefits.

2. Commercial Models

These models will be collaborative, supporting innovation and boosting the competitiveness of UK supply chains to deliver safely and predictably. Procurement will focus on whole-life outcomes, and contracting strategies will deliver rapid payment to all levels of the supply chain

3. Delivery

Delivery will be more productive, exploiting digital technology in design to enable smarter manufacturing and construction techniques that speed delivery, minimise disruption, and maximise efficiency, helping to build new skills in the economy.


4. Infrastructure Assets

These assets will be intelligent, producing and using data to perform measurably better through their whole life, meeting exacting standards of sustainability, resilience, and availability.

5. Productivity and Competitiveness

Both the infrastructure industry’s and the wider economy’s productivity and competitiveness will be boosted with investment delivering better services and driving growth. Both qualitative and quantitative measures will place UK infrastructure at the top of international rankings.

TIP is intended to improve the way the United Kingdom’s infrastructure is planned, procured, delivered, and operated, thus boosting national productivity. 

Source: Global Infrastructure Initiative.


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