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New faces and ambition for BIM2050

Every construction report since The Simon Report in 1944 has highlighted the sluggish performance of the construction industry.

Since then, there have been at least 15 reports saying the same thing: Latham, Egan, Wolstenholme and even our own BE2050 report last year.

The BIM2050 group now has to think about how it can generate a space to surface future leaders and technology.

“It is obvious that innovation is slow and it is damaging the attractiveness of our industry”

For example, how can we accelerate the innovation invented in our universities and maximise its impact in the marketplace?

How can we cultivate an environment where the Uber (currently disrupting the taxi industry) or Airbnb (currently disrupting the hotel industry) of construction be enabled to scale and disrupt our market?

Group goals

The aim for the 14 new BIM2050 members (each nominated by the member organisations of CIC) is to develop the platform further, grow its network and try to encourage young professionals to stand up and be heard.

It is obvious that innovation is slow and it is damaging the attractiveness of our industry.

I would like the group to challenge the routes to market for innovation, question current leaders about their level of investment in research and development and build a stronger bridge between universities and industry.

In terms of legacy, I would like to reach out to other industry groups that represent young professionals, such as Generation 4 Change, the CIC 2050 Group and the CIBSE Young Engineers Network, and build a collaborative network that brings together future leaders from all corners.

If we cannot collaborate to improve inter-institutional relationships, what chance have we got to reform our industry in the long run?

BIM is a tiny step in a much bigger agenda.

We need to develop smart cities connected by smart infrastructure; without that we will not be able to support a smart, truly democratic political process.

I urge anyone who desires to join our network to please get in touch. Tweet @BIM2050 or contact

Neil Thompson is chair of BIM2050 and principal BIM integrator at Balfour Beatty

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