With a tsunami of infrastructure construction projects set to hit in the middle of this decade, Australian industry needs an urgent solution to accelerate productivity gains and efficiencies.
Infrastructure Australia’s most recent plan suggests a potential 60 per cent productivity uplift if the industry embraces ‘digitisation, modern construction methods, greater supply chain engagement and… innovation’.
With a heritage founded in South Korean innovation and named the world’s most innovative in Bloomberg’s 2021 Innovation Index, GS Engineering and Construction (GS E&C) agrees that digital is key and believes learning from global approaches such as innovation way to accelerate capacity in time to deliver Australia’s $300b infrastructure pipeline.
“The Australian government has provided the opportunity for infrastructure to be a key lever in making the 2020’s a decade of economic growth; and increasing the liveability of regional, rural and urban communities by future-proofing transport networks to meet a rise in rail and road usage and an increase in national freight by 35 per cent by 2040,” says GS E&C President & CEO Won-Jang Lee.
“Industry doesn’t need to completely re-wire the way it works. Australia’s quality, safety and risk management outcomes on big projects are some of the best in the world. Rather, combining existing technologies to create new solutions, adapting global practice to local environments and focusing on incremental innovation can pay big dividends” advises Lee.
“For example, we were the first to use four-legged robots and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors on construction sites in Korea. This is not new technology, but by applying it to a project site we were able to create a safer work environment and enhance productivity.”
Each year, the Global Innovation Index provides a snapshot of 132 economies and how they compare on seven pillars of innovation. In 2021, South Korea has entered the top five for the first time, moving from 10th place in 2020, while Australia slipped a further two places from 23rd place to 25th despite innovation performance in the South East Asia, East Asia, and Oceania (SEAO) region being the most dynamic in the past decade.
Australia’s best ranking was on the pillar of institutions, referring to government effectiveness, regulatory quality, and operations stability among others.
“This is exactly why Australia is attractive to companies that have innovation and mega-project capacity like GS E&C. We are reassured of a stable, ethical and robust governance framework and our strategy for partnering with and up-skilling the local supply chain to accelerate uptake of digital, technological and incremental innovation is a great fit,” said Mr Lee.