- The $ 1.2 trillion non-partisan infrastructure bill Passed by the Senate, covers $ 100 million over five years accelerate the use of digital construction technologies such as 3D modeling software and digital project management platforms.
- The Coalition for Smarter Infrastructure Investments, a collection of digital infrastructure companies that include Bentley Systems and Mott McDonald, campaigned for funding to be included in the bill to go beyond the pen-and-paper processes that still make the construction industry dominate.
- “As funding increases, it’s more important than ever to modernize the way we design, build, and manage infrastructure so that every dollar invested goes on,” said Si Katara, coalition co-founder and president of visual inspection technology company HeadLight. in a statement.
Katara said the bill gives businesses massive opportunity in a scenario where “rising tides raise all boats”. Katara called the bill “a golden opportunity to do something transformative”.
The bill provides billions of dollars for bridges, roads, and other aging infrastructure, along with an annual investment fund of $ 20 million for innovation in construction management. It passed the Senate with 69-30 votes and paved its way for debate in the House of Representatives.
Construction management technologies are not the only high-tech developments that Congress is considering in the bill. More widely used technologies, such as electric vehicles and broadband Internet, are also available for significant federal funding, with the two receiving a combined $ 72.5 billion. according to CNBC.
The coalition campaigned for changes to the way the United States worked on infrastructure this summer, shortly after the Biden administration tabled its massive infrastructure proposal in March. Its success is now essential to a modern avenue for infrastructure investment, the coalition said.
“It would be crazy to pump hundreds of billions into new infrastructure projects and still rely on design and management systems that look like they were from the 1930s,” said David McKenney, vice president of Bentley Systems. “America ranks 13th in the world in terms of infrastructure – we need to invest more to be competitive, but we also need to invest smarter. Technology and data can help us with that. “
Katara said the funding would allow people to focus on their jobs. By removing overheads and giving back the hours workers spend using “hand-jamming reports,” they can spend most of their time in the field instead.
On the heels of a devastating report on climate change of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which recommended drastic measures to reduce emissions before 2040, Katara also spoke about the impact of innovation on climate change and the environment. He said it would be “a terribly missed opportunity” for companies to ignore environmental considerations when innovating.