"PropTechs" present future solutions for the construction and real estate industry at digitalCHURCH, Aachen, Germany
PropTech start-ups, IT SMEs and participants intensively discussed digital solutions for the construction and real estate industry in the digitalCHURCH.
Dr. Andreas Koch
Head of Construction Composites
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The Competence Network AACHEN BUILDING EXPERTS e. V. (ABE) and the digitalHUB Aachen e. V. (digitalHUB) jointly organized the event "ABE meets digitalHUB Aachen". On March 13, more than 80 participants used the event to have eleven start-ups present their business models and digital solutions for the construction and real estate industry at digitalCHURCH. The former church St. Elisabeth is the seat of the digitalHUB Aachen and the first CoWorking Space in a nave in Germany.
Aachen as "place to be" for digital PropTechs
More and more digital PropTechs (short for Property Technology) deal with topics and processes around technologies especially for the innovative construction, planning and operation of real estate. In this way, they are driving the digital transformation of an industry that is regarded as more conservative. Aachen-based companies, start-ups and medium-sized businesses are playing a leading role. The initiators of the ABE recognised that the region has the best prerequisites for this. For this reason, the association has been networking leading companies in the construction industry since 2016, both Aachen universities RWTH and FH as well as the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Chamber of Crafts Aachen. This close networking of science and industry along the entire value chain promotes practical innovations in the construction and real estate sector. "The format `ABE meets digitalHUB´ was developed because of the important innovative function of start-ups for the construction industry. We bring them together with established companies, so that both sides receive impulses and learn from each other. Here creative heads from different disciplines meet one another, that promotes ideas, co-operation and synergies, ?describe ABE managing director Goar T. Werner the successful meeting concept.
Digitisation increases productivity in the construction industry
Digital solutions serve to increase productivity in the construction industry. Hagen Schmidt-Bleker, founder and board member of ABE- und digitalHUB-member formitas AG, headquartered in Aachen, emphasized this in his keynote speech. In contrast to other industries, labor productivity has remained almost unchanged over the last decades due to the low degree of digitization. Events such as "ABE meets digitalHUB Aachen" are helping to change this. They offer start-ups in the construction industry the opportunity to present their ideas and discuss them directly with users from medium-sized companies.
Copyright: Sabine Schmidt, das-design-plus.de
Six start-ups presented their digital business models and products in 5-minute "pitches": Bobbie (digital transformation of the building materials trade by automating the bidding process), GREENbimlabs (complete real-time documentation of all materials used in buildings), 3D-Lasca (laser-scan-supported surveying and 3D design), wtec smartengine (networking of a universally applicable sensor network with existing lighting infrastructure for smart buildings), HoloBuilder (digitalisation of the documentation process on construction sites using a 360-degree camera) and MOQO (app as a mobility platform that brings car sharing and comprehensive mobility services to real estate projects). HoloBuilder was awarded for the best "pitch" in a final public vote.
Foretaste of the SMART BUILDING CONVENTION in Aachen
Again and again the ABE sets innovation impulses and enjoys strong popularity. Already last year, the first SMART BUILDING CONVENTION of the competence network mobilised participants from all over Germany and abroad. The event at digitalCHURCH therefore gave a foretaste of the PropTech session of the second SMART BUILDING CONVENTION. It will take place on 16 and 17 October 2019 as part of the "Building the Future" forum at the Eurogress Aachen.
Copyright: Sabine Schmidt, das-design-plus.de
Looking beyond the borders of the construction industry
The network evening offered plenty of space for discussions with the start-ups and experts from the IT middle class. The participants quickly discovered points of contact between the presented business models and their own work areas. Thus, Bobbie's automated quotation process can be used to generate quotations from standard service specifications based on a BIM model. Professional customers can quickly gain an overview of all building material manufacturers and products during the start-up phase. All information on price, freight and availability can be called up online in real time via this 4.0 building materials trade.
Some of the services presented by the start-ups can also be integrated into the "internationally functioning language of modeling," emphasized Hagen Schmidt-Bleker. The importance of meeting and exchanging opportunities for the industry is also demonstrated by the fact that the construction and real estate sectors are supplied with innovative technologies through creativity from other sectors. Virtual reality is a prominent example of this. "We have to look beyond the borders of the construction industry," says Schmidt-Bleker.Copyright: Sabine Schmidt, das-design-plus.de
Five other young companies were available at information stands for personal talks: Exultec with innovative solutions for digitalised administration processes, aedifion with a platform for cloud-based processing of data from building and energy systems, NevisQ with intelligent sensor room monitoring, which is currently used primarily in care, MoFleWo, a digital platform for company office sharing, and Anhut Consulting with architectural visualizations Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
Author: Dr Kerstin Burmeister
Goar T. Werner
AACHEN BUILDING EXPERTS e.V.
Bayernallee 9 | 52066 Aachen, Germany