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Costain launches digital platform for infrastructure data

20 October 2020

A Costain team has created a new cloud-based digital platform to help drive more efficient and greener delivery of infrastructure.

Named the Intelligent Infrastructure Control Centre (IICC), the platform will "harmonise the vast quantities of intelligence that UK infrastructure projects generate, and drive greater productivity and resilience through the capture of efficiency and innovation," according to Costain, its key partner SAP and the Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy Living Lab (TIES Living Lab).

The IICC takes operational data from an infrastructure project portfolio and then synthesises the information onto one platform, helping the effective management of operations and informing processes such as budgeting, talent acquisition and external reporting.

The IICC is one of the first initiatives to come out of the TIES Living Lab, which includes the likes of Transport for London, East West Rail Company, HS2 and Network Rail.

Costain noted that the IICC can be used across all sectors and industries.

Tim Embley, director of research, innovation and development at Costain, said: "Many of our clients across all the sectors we work in, whether it be energy, defence, water or transportation, face challenges with having consistent and accurate data on critical factors such as commercial, carbon, safety, as well as complete cost transparency.

"Within the system, you can bring different data sets to life – what gets collated and tracked is decided collaboratively with the client. It brings full data transparency to empower the key decision makers. With its built-in analytics functionality, it can also literally predict the future. Where data isn’t easily available, it uses artificial intelligence to deep mine the existing data to manufacture data that means you can start to predict the outcomes and look at scenarios and decisions that are going to be made. This helps reduce the unknowns and significantly reduces risk, thereby cutting costs, increasing efficiency and giving greater delivery certainty."

Neil Robertson, chief executive of National Skills Academy for Rail and TIES Living Lab programme lead, said: "It's hard to build or maintain a piece of transport infrastructure. A lot can go wrong, and it frequently does, so improving the information available and turning it into insight as well as foresight is incredibly useful. One of the potentials of the IICC is that we see things before they take a turn in a certain direction and the anticipation of problems is a real game changer."

Embley also noted: "The data collated into the TIES Living Lab’s IICC will make it easier for organisations to understand and shape the business case for investing in and adopting that innovation elsewhere. This means it can be transferred more seamlessly from one supply chain or sector to another, helping to drive those savings at scale a lot more quickly than ever before. This means more success for owners and operators of infrastructure and ultimately better results for our communities who need the critical infrastructure."

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