PARIS, 31-May-2018 — /EuropaWire/ — With support from the Hauts-de-France Region and the European Metropolis of Lille, Bouygues Construction and the Centrale Lille engineering school are announcing the creation of a research chair intended to increase the productivity of the construction sector. The ambition of the Chair is to understand how the building trades are going to change in the coming years and to invent disruptive construction methods.
The aim of the Chair is to put in place a joint research team made up of PhD students, young researchers and Bouygues Construction employees on three major lines of research: – Robotics and automation on the construction site: industrialising production by studying the potential use of robots, 3D printing and prefabrication on construction sites. – Construction site optimisation: automatic collection, processing and use of construction site data for improved organisation of production and the supply chain. – Introduction of disruptive methods in design: enabling efficient, automated, smart and adapted design.
Xavier Bertrand, President of the Hauts-de-France Region, said: “When the building industry reinvents itself, it is supported by the Region. The Chair in Construction 4.0, which is unique in France, has been launched in our region – anticipating to be pioneers, investing to develop opportunities and jobs. Congratulations to Bouygues Construction and Centrale Lille.”
Frédérique Seels, Vice President of the European Metropolis of Lille in charge of the economic and design portfolios, said: “The industrial Chair in Construction 4.0 is an example of initiatives taken by the European Metropolis of Lille to support public-private partnerships with the aim of increasing the region’s potential for innovation. It follows a call for industrial chair projects launched by the Metropolis, which was seeking to encourage and support close links and long-term collaborations between a research institute and companies in a strategic field for the parties concerned. It was in reply to this call for projects that the Metropolis received the proposal for a Chair in Construction 4.0 from Centrale Lille and Bouygues Construction. Following an analysis by the examining committee, considering the quality of the application, the Metropolis decided to support this important project for the future of the construction industry.”
Philippe Bonnave, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bouygues Construction, said: “This brand new Chair in Construction 4.0 is the result of the strong links that unite Bouygues Construction and Centrale Lille. Because we are determined to innovate together, we have decided to combine our skills to meet the major issues of digitalisation of the building trades. Looking beyond these research projects, this is also an opportunity to show aspiring young engineers that the construction industry is a very attractive and very innovative sector.”
Emmanuel Duflos, Director of Centrale Lille, said: “The Chair in Construction 4.0 is at the heart of our key industrial challenges, but also of research and engineering training programmes. Recent changes that we have made to the Centrale curriculum are closely linked to innovation and to companies, which constitute essential added value for Centrale Lille. For us, the Chair in Construction 4.0 is a broad-spectrum project that seeks to be a value-creating model of collaboration.”
On May 28, Philippe Bonnave, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bouygues Construction, and Emmanuel Duflos, Director of Centrale Lille, have signed a five-year partnership agreement for the creation of the Chair in Construction 4.0, which will have a budget of more than €4 million.
The Chair is already collaborating with several renowned regional and international universities, including Ecole Polytech’Lille, the Technical University of Munich, the University of Texas at Arlington and the Angers campus of ENSAM. Later, it will collaborate with other academic partners, such as the University of Alberta in Canada, as well as industrial players and start-ups, particularly locally-based ones through the Euratechnologies incubator.
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SOURCE: Bouygues Construction