WorkMobile, the Manchester-based specialist in mobile workforce data capture and analysis, has secured a grant from Innovate UK to help improve productivity in the construction sector.
Worth just under £49,000, the grant will support the firm on working alongside other businesses on a major project managed by international engineering firm Laing O’Rourke.
The project aims to improve operative productivity and enable continuous quality analysis in the construction industry, by creating a common platform that enables workers to use digital processes and technologies such as augmented, virtual and mixed reality tools.
The tools aim to speed up the processing of data that feeds the system to remove the time and resource barriers for technology adoption. The result will help construction workers to be more productive and accurate by providing them with the right information at the right time – for example, by providing real-time guidance and instruction within a virtual 3D environment. The project will develop use cases across the nuclear, residential, commercial fit out and manufacturing sectors.
As part of the project, WorkMobile will develop multiple methods of workforce data provision and collection. This will enable Laing O’Rourke to explore how data can best be captured and harnessed on construction sites and in their offsite factories to be used collaboratively by multidisciplinary workforces.
The five-figure grant from Innovate UK, the government agency tasked with helping businesses to de-risk, enable and support innovation, will cover 70% of WorkMobile’s costs over the 21-month project.
WorkMobile was able to demonstrate how the project’s learnings should enhance its capabilities not only in the construction sector but also across the utilities, facilities management, and education and training sectors.
Multiple specialist companies have been brought on board for the project and will work together to explore eight separate work packages. Collectively, it is envisaged that these packages will help the construction industry to improve worker safety, productivity, and environmental efficiency.
Andrew Huntly, CEO at WorkMobile, said: “This is a massively exciting project for us to be involved with, and we’re thrilled that Innovate UK has recognised that by awarding us a grant and that Laing O’Rourke chose us as the data collection partner on part of the project. The construction industry relies on a vast array of differently-skilled individuals, working across multiple and remote sites, so the opportunities for mobile data capture and analysis are huge. We already work extensively within the industry, but a project of this calibre and importance was too good to miss. We’re looking forward to developing our products and upskilling our technical teams throughout the project, as well as working alongside some fantastic businesses.”