Pagabo and Sheffield university to ‘shake up’ construction sector

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Construction sector,

National framework provider Pagabo has forged a research agreement with the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to challenge current methods in the construction sector

The collaboration aims to research fresh ideas and innovations that embrace new technology and advanced manufacturing methods.

Joining them in the venture are C4DI, the Hull-based incubator company that promotes growth in tech businesses, specialist data centre company Yondr and Lord Bob Kerslake.

The University of Sheffield AMRC is a network of research and innovation centres that work with manufacturing companies of all sizes around the globe. It has particular strengths in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Its pioneering research develops innovative methods that are of practical use to the manufacturing industry.

The organisation transforms industrial and economic performance by making step changes in productivity, increasing competitiveness, developing new products and processes and training new talent and skills.

Just a few weeks into the new relationship, vital research into harnessing technology to streamline health and safety methods on construction sites is already underway.

The sector needs a ‘revolutionary moment’

Gerard Toplass, executive chairman of Pagabo, said: “Everyone agrees that construction is a sector that has been left behind in terms of new ways of working and innovation. Many methods in construction have been used for decades.

“What we want to do as a group is to totally shake up the construction sector – and create real change to drive economic growth and establish the UK as a global innovator.”

“It’s vital that we think about the industry as a whole and how we can promote new technologies to improve how we do things.

“This new collaboration between Pagabo and the AMRC will bring the sector together, unify common objectives and drive forward real change.

“We will be building an enterprise that seeks to leverage new techniques, innovation and automation.”

Dave Newitt, CEO of Yondr, the specialist data centre operator, is involved with Pagabo and its TFOC initiative. He said: “We believe that construction has a great deal to learn from manufacturing.

“We want to look at modularisation and taking works off-site – so, building off-site rather than on-site. It’s how the manufacturing world operates, and we want to emulate that to improve productivity.”

Steve Foxley, CEO of the University of Sheffield AMRC, said: “We see construction as a wildly exciting and opportunity-filled industry to benefit from our learnings over the past 20 years.

“We want to work closely with Pagabo to create a real catalyst for change. Pagabo has a unique and important role within the industry as a framework provider and has influence across a wider portion of the industry via its ecosystem of contractors and supply chain partners.

“We will be learning from the automotive and aerospace industries and seeing where we can adapt methods and innovations that would work in the construction sector.

“We want to look at areas like enterprise architecture, the future of buildings in a digital world, and how standards and interfaces will enable the digital world in construction.”

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