Following the launch of Phase 1 in 2020, the Built Environment Technology Alliance (BETA) programme will be extended into Phase 2 with an additional SG$20 million of BETA catalyst funding to support industry-led research and innovation (R&I) efforts.
The BETA is a programme office within the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore that works closely with government agencies, academia and industry stakeholders to co-create ideas, catalyst industry-led innovations for the built environment (BE) sector and translates the results into economic values. While conventional research programmes typically support public research performers in collaboration with firms on a project-based relationship, Phase 2 of the BETA programme will build up competitive capabilities for entire value-chains of key progressive BE firms through collaborative R&I over a sustained period.
One of the projects that exemplifies a long-term collaborative model for R&I showing the way forward for the industry is the Innovative Construction Technologies for Deep Foundation and Excavation undertook by the Construction Technology Innovation Laboratory (CTIL). The project, led by Woh Hup (Private Limited) in collaboration with its three value-chain partners—NatSteel Holdings Pte Ltd, TTJ Design & Engineering Pte Ltd and SEN SG Pte Ltd, seeks to develop an ensemble of underground construction technologies.
The CTIL aims to provide a common platform to better engage industry experts and like-minded partners to work collaboratively to develop capabilities and bring forth positive transformation of the BE sector.
According to the BCA, progressive firms that make significant investments in R&I can build long-term capabilities and a competitive advantage. Generally, the construction cost associated with basement works can range between 4.5 to 20 per cent of a project’s total development cost, while the cost of underground works in public infrastructure projects can easily exceed half of the total cost. However, this project undertook by the CTIL is expected to deliver savings in a critical and relatively under-researched segment of underground civil engineering works as well as to improve productivity and on-site safety. The research being carried out could have a deep impact on the BE sector.
The BCA hopes to encourage more forward-looking firms to adopt the same mindset and model when embarking on R&I. It will continue to work with industry partners to leverage new R&I and technologies to enable the industry to emerge stronger. —Construction+ Online