Supporting digitalisation of the construction sector and SMEs
including Building Information Modelling (BIM)

Digitalisation of the economy is one of the priorities set by the European Union (EU). While the construction sector is one of the pillars of the EU economy, its digitalisation is going at a slow pace.The literature reviewed suggests that mainly seven digitalisation technologies are used main in the construction sector: Building Information Modeling or Building Information Management (BIM), Additive manufacturing (3D printing), Robotisation, Drones, 3D scanning, Sensors and Internet of Things (IoT). As a result of desk research and expert validation interviews around these technologies, the study identifies ten (10) main challenges or gaps. In turn ten (10) actions – with several sub-actions – have been proposed to improve the current state of digitalisation of the construction sector. Three of these are suggested to be prioritized by the European Commission and executed within three years in cooperation with stakeholders from the construction industry, such as larger companies and SMEs, umbrella organisations, and Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs). These actions are:
i. Introduction of an interactive handbook and digital maturity scan for the adoption and implementation of digital technologies by construction SMEs
ii. Support to DIHs to accelerate the digital transformation.
iii. Provide lifelong (Digital) skills development for (blue collars) employees within the construction sector through trainings.
The study has provided a roll out plan for these actions.
Last but not least, the study concluded that a digital transformation of the construction sector requires:
• Effective cooperation between the partners from: the industry, knowledge and research institutes, and the government.
•Synergies between regional and national initiatives from various EU Member States, allowing regions to build on their strengths and focus on their niches to become complementary to other regions.