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Blockchain for Construction

16 Oct 2019
Innovation Stage
Innovation Stage

In this 30 minute session SAP will

  • Give a quick overview of the SAP Intelligent Enterprise and how this can be leveraged within the construction industry
  • In particular we will focus on work that SAP have been doing in the UK with the Construction Smart Contract Consortium (the consortium) and give a high overview of this proof-of concept.
  • Finally, we will give a quick summary of how SAP can practically help the construction industry leveraging our partners like LTI (Larsen & Toubro Infotech)

 

Proof-of-concept

The consortium’s goal is to perform research and development for the construction industry on the adoption of blockchain and smart contracts to solve some of the industries key problems. The group has representative from both the private sector and publicly funded contributors. A number of pilots or proof-of-concepts have been launched in different areas. SAP is leading the proof-of-concept to address the core tracking and updating of construction program status’s through the use of blockchain and smart contracts. This would naturally involve integration to the various members core systems of record and business processes depending on the role they had within the program. From a technical point of view we wanted to show that blockchain and smart contracts could be used to ensure transparency and trust within the specific program and to ensure interoperability with companies large and smaller so that there were no barriers to adoption within the industry. We also want to the explore the use of smart contracts to detect the fulfilment of conditions based on data held in the blockchain via a smart contract to trigger workflow and business processes such as payments.

To deliver on this vision we began focusing on private (permissioned) blockchains where a blockchain was created for a program with a finite set of known participants.

Specifically the pain points we wanted to address and the perceived benefits are listed below..

Pain points:

  • Lack of transparency and bottlenecks in workflow impacting cash flow and working capital
  • Lack of technology and standards within the construction industry that significantly lags behind the manufacturing industry in process efficiency
  • The UK Government has struggled to get construction industry to adopt anything - how to enforce participation etc.. 

 

Benefits:

  • Automated payments to contractors, sub-contractors, SMEs and suppliers based on tasks or status’s completed
  • Transparency of program status with real-time updates to single source of truth for all participants
  • Circular economy keeping track of materials and their use through the whole lifetime of the building with closer alignment to manufacturing processes & databases
  • Enabling machine learning and AI to access data and help improve built assets lifetime efficiency

 

At the moment the Proof-of-concept includes the following participants

  • Client side infrastructure based organisations engaged in construction of utilities, airports, rail links and highways
  • Design, Engineering and Services companies
  • Manufacturers
  • Contractors
  • Universities involved in associated research
  • Technology companies

 

The aim to have the first results from the proof-of-concept available by January 2020 if not before

 

Speakers
Neil Ashworth, Enterprise Architect - SAP

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