Discussion
Started 18th May, 2021

Do we need entrepreneurship for new technologies in construction?

Dear peers,
we are all aware of inefficiencies and waste (time, material, talent) in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector. We also do know that we need to increase overall productivity and quality while reducing costs. But is it possible in the "status quo", using existing processes, materials and tools?
New technologies have demonstrated technical feasibility in R&D (both in Academia and Industry). Yet, there seems little demand from the market itself. How is that - are we lacking appropriate business model design, technology transfer capabilities or modes of open innovation?
Do we need entrepreneurship for these new technologies in construction?
Happy to hear your opinion!

Most recent answer

16th Mar, 2022
Juan Carlos Apaza Paucara
Universidad Nacional Jorge Basadre Grohmann, Tacna
It depends on the financing and the country, a demonstration of the use of technology is Qatar is demonstrating, planning and operation, the management of the time factor, financing and technology, and decision-making and the human talent factor in this case the executives, architects, engineers and others in this field.

Popular replies (1)

20th May, 2021
Dariusz Prokopowicz
Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw
Yes, we need entrepreneurship for new technologies in construction. Construction is one of the booming sectors in the economy. Activation of entrepreneurship in the construction sector is an important element of social and economic policy. Yes, we need entrepreneurship for new technologies in construction, especially in the field of green construction technologies, creating new pro-environmental construction technologies, new types of energy-saving building materials in order to develop sustainable construction.
Best regards,
Dariusz Prokopowicz
7 Recommendations

All replies (27)

19th May, 2021
Kasili Mutambo
EUCLID
Yes, indeed construction needs innovative technologies to cut operations expenditures (OPEX), enhance efficiency and effectiveness in timely delivery to attract new customers and retain old ones in earning profits and growth.
1 Recommendation
20th May, 2021
Dariusz Prokopowicz
Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw
Yes, we need entrepreneurship for new technologies in construction. Construction is one of the booming sectors in the economy. Activation of entrepreneurship in the construction sector is an important element of social and economic policy. Yes, we need entrepreneurship for new technologies in construction, especially in the field of green construction technologies, creating new pro-environmental construction technologies, new types of energy-saving building materials in order to develop sustainable construction.
Best regards,
Dariusz Prokopowicz
7 Recommendations
20th May, 2021
Nilay Mistry
National Forensic Sciences University
Yes it is utmost required thing. Innovation is converting education in execution for getting solution to modern problems.
2 Recommendations
20th May, 2021
Roberto - Minadeo
Conselho Nacional de Des. Científico e Tecnológico-CNPq
Entrepreneurship and innovation will always be necessary in any sector of economic activity, in addition to being able to create entirely new sectors.
1 Recommendation
21st May, 2021
Damon Matteo
Fulcrum Strategy
Preamble caveat: I'm by no stretch an expert in the construction industry (high-tech focused), but have considerable experience in new business creation.
In general though, I've found across industries/technology domains that it is not the absence of business models, novel technology, etc... often the real gating factors include, for example, 1) lack of entrepreneurial culture (not just on the side of the entrepreneur, proper, rather also on the "buy side" that needs to adopt the technology - especially in traditionally risk-averse industries 2) lack of an active eco-system of complementary technologies, manufacturers, mobile and appropriately skilled human capital, through which novel technologies can grow, die (yes, that's part of the process), be de-risked, scale, etc... 3) While there is a fair amount of capital investment in construction, my understanding is that little-to-none has much of a start-up focus, even less so anything that might be considered angel-level investment. An active willing capital community is equally a part of NBC success.
I'd be interested in impressions from those who are, unlike myself, expert in this industry space.
1 Recommendation
24th May, 2021
Tarik Hossain
Comilla University
Yes.
3 Recommendations
24th May, 2021
Stefan Lindstrom
Lindstrom & Partners.
Alex Walzer Thank you for asking, I would like to rephrase it back. Is there or has there been any new, (new) business or process so far in the world that was not driven by entrepreneurial thinking or skills or attitude ? And like Hermann Gruenwald wrote. The construction industry is dominated by entrepreneurs.
1 Recommendation
24th May, 2021
Juan Carlos Apaza Paucara
Universidad Nacional Jorge Basadre Grohmann, Tacna
Por supuesto que sí, hoy más que nunca desde los emprendedores artesanales hasta los alta tecnología, necesitan o recuperar la actitud, motivación hacia la diferenciación en un mundo tan competitivo, para salir de la crisis de la pandemia, permanecer en el mercado, o lanzando nuevos productos. además soluciona el problema empleo y colabora en el crecimiento del país.
1 Recommendation
24th May, 2021
Francesco Fusaro
Great question Alex Walzer
The question is not if we need or not need new expertise and thus new entrepreneurship in construction. The right question to ask would be how we could translate and communicate the right messages regarding technologies, being part of the digital transformation itself. The construction companies I know are driven by profits with quite good margins, well above market. You have to convince such companies on how to maintain their status while providing hands on delivery.
Hope that helps.
Hermann Gruenwald I understand you very well
1 Recommendation
25th May, 2021
Nilton dos Santos Portugal
Centro Universitário do Sul de Minas
Inovação é necessária para busca contínua das melhorias nos processos, na eficiência e na eficácia. O Brasil é destaque em inovações e melhorias contínuas no agronegócio, por que não buscarmos esta mesma caminhada na área da construção?!
1 Recommendation
25th May, 2021
Francesco Fusaro
Right Hermann Gruenwald , German Bundesregierung assured the critical infrastructure companies, expecially the construction companies that they had to fulfill their contracts with the Bundesregierung (like building and maintaining statal street infrastructure) and therefore they obviously had the permission to continue work at all.
1 Recommendation
20th Jul, 2021
Jorge Christie
Universität Stuttgart
Hi Alexander N. Walzer,
As others have stated above, I wouldn't waste too much time arguing if we need entrepreneurship in construction, but -given the space where this discussion is open- rather reflecting on the role that academia might play bringing research and developments into market.
I'd like to share an experience that I think can nourish the discussion. Currently, I am performing an experiment on this respect by developing in parallel my PhD research and having a start-up that is convergent (www.strongbyform.com), openly embracing the fact that I'd like to bring my technological developments to market. In short, my PhD research tackles material development, simulation and structural design of stress-oriented timber-based composites, while my company is developing the additive manufacturing process that automates the production of large scale structural parts made with this principle.
My initial guess is that by permanently interrogating and steering my research to to answer uncomfortable market demands like price, productivity rate, regulations, competition, customer demands and so on, I will have less space to take "unproductive" paths. I'm not saying this path is any better than others, we will see, but at least it introduces to the "market-safe" environment of academia some useful noise throughout the process. This noise might help to define your case studies, the scope of your research, the range of performance you might require and even the kind of funds you should be searching for, among others. This path is significantly different to the "post research entrepreneur" or the "company-sponsored PhD" in terms of agility and capacity to pivot based on the advances of both, the research and the business plan. This path has required to me and my team crazy creativity to assemble collaborations, find funds and coordinate agendas, but also a crazy open mindedness of my Professor and academic collaborators. We will see where all this adventure ends up but, regardless of the end, the process has been extremely enriching and I think that I will come out of this experience with a wider vision as a researcher and as an entrepreneur. Time will say if this path might lead to a higher success to market penetration. I'm optimistic.
Best!
1 Recommendation
16th Sep, 2021
Alex Walzer
Stanford University
I agree with all the replies, I want to clarify that there is a difference between in "traditional" and technology-driven Entrepreneurship. Innovation could help with increasing efficiencies in AEC and will ultimately require a different supply chain. We can see a trend in going "off-site", where possible, and in addition online configurators will productize AEC even more. I think digital production techniques play a key role in this transition but are not the center of attention, merely a part of the solution. My thoughts are around business model design (market level), customer development (product level) and venture-related topics (firm level). Happy to hear your thoughts! Jorge Christie Hermann Gruenwald Francesco Fusaro Dariusz Prokopowicz Stefan Lindstrom
24th Dec, 2021
Dariusz Prokopowicz
Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw
Dear Alexander N. Walzer,
Yes, in my opinion, we need entrepreneurship for new technologies in construction. Due to climate change, including the progressing global warming, in the future, the importance of new technologies in construction will increase, which on the one hand will make it possible to build houses and office buildings much more resistant to changing weather conditions, weather anomalies and climate disasters. On the other hand, the importance of eco-innovation and pro-environmental construction technologies will increase, including technologies enabling the implementation of renewable energy sources in construction facilities. Eco-construction innovations may also consist in creating new, more efficient and energy-saving building materials with the simultaneous use of pro-environmental technologies of their production. These large-scale eco-innovations and pro-environmental construction technologies can be an important element of the pro-environmental transformation of the classic brown, linear surplus economy to a sustainable, green, zero-emission zero-growth and circular economy. However, in order for the process of pro-environmental transformation of the construction and energy sector to run smoothly, it is necessary to activate the development of entrepreneurship as part of economic projects in the construction industry.
Best regards,
Dariusz Prokopowicz
2 Recommendations
Deleted profile
Yes, we need it as we can face the problems of deficit of specialized labor in the near future if we won't do steps further for better communications with these persons
4 Recommendations
27th Jan, 2022
Shuraik Kader
Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology
Yes, Obviously entrepreneurship for new construction technologies is a must in current context . Good infrastructure could develop the economy of nations. A financial reinforcement is highly required for new technologies in construction, such as energy effective construction materials, green construction and Life Cycle Assessment sectors. Due to the lack of investments, several important criteria such as LCA are limitedly accessed in only at the highly sophisticated cities in countries like Sri Lanka. However, these semi arid zone countries are highly prone to Urban Heat Island effects (Vijayaraghavan, 2016) thus showing the necessity for the entrepreneurship to advent modern construction technologies from rural-to-urban scale.
1 Recommendation
27th Jan, 2022
Juan Carlos Apaza Paucara
Universidad Nacional Jorge Basadre Grohmann, Tacna
In this case, as it is about 3 sets, robotics could design and innovate new business models, with the feeding of data with algorithms elaborated and programs by human talent.
2 Recommendations
31st Jan, 2022
Federica Vingelli
University of Naples Federico II
I believe that to make these technologies an integral part of the possibilities for building construction, we need to include these considerations in the early stages of city planning, that is, to include the principles of circularity in urban planning. In this way we will not have some episodes of circularity in our cities (due to special entrepreneurs) but a circular city.
1 Recommendation
31st Jan, 2022
Juan Carlos Apaza Paucara
Universidad Nacional Jorge Basadre Grohmann, Tacna
Of course, yes, but more training is needed in technologies of the fourth revolution, I complement the previous answer.
2 Recommendations
16th Mar, 2022
Alex Walzer
Stanford University
Dear peers, there are a few topics of interest in the context of hard tech entrepreneurship for construction: firm formation, firm growth, product dev, customer development, business model design, industry structure analysis. Anyone working on this or related fields, e.g. supply chain, innovation management, complex product systems?

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