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Optimization of the construction industry: major project in Hof district

Great success for Hof University of Applied Sciences, the district of Hof and the LGA Landesgewerbeanstalt Bayern: Together with nine other partners, they were selected in the GAIA-X funding competition to carry out a groundbreaking project that will create digital data standards for the entire construction industry – reliably and with data sovereignty. It also aims to make private and public construction even more efficient in the future.

Creating new data standards for the entire construction industry is the goal of the iECO project at Hof University of Applied Sciences; source: LGA;

Technically, this is to be implemented on the basis of the European cloud platform GAIA-X, which the EU intends to establish in the coming years as an alternative to US providers such as Microsoft:

GAIA-X is a project to build a competitive and at the same time trustworthy data infrastructure for Europe. It is intended to help ensure European data sovereignty and data availability in the medium term.”

Prof. Dr. Beatrix Weber

“GAIA-X is a project to build a competitive yet trustworthy data infrastructure for Europe. It was launched in 2019 following the joint manifesto of the German and French Ministers of Economy for a European Industrial Policy for the 21st Century and has been evolving ever since. It is intended to help ensure European data sovereignty and data availability in the medium term,” explains Prof. Dr. Beatrix Weber, head of the Legal Research Group at the Institute of Information Systems at Hof University of Applied Sciences (iisys), who will lead the Governance, Data and Rights Management work package. According to the Federal Network Agency, a total of EUR 122 million is available in the funding pot for the 11 winning consortia.

Model region for the development of the construction industry

Together with the district of Hof as the building permit authority and the Landesgewerbeanstalt Bayern (Bavarian State Trade Institute), the university had applied with the project “iECO: intelligent Empowerment of Construction Industry” in the funding competition of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in a top-class consortium and was successful: “Our consortium was selected as one of only eleven projects from more than 130 applicants and invited to submit an official funding application,” Prof. Dr. Beatrix Weber is pleased to say. After receiving an official notification of funding, the consortium is expected to start work immediately in the fall of this year together with the 10 other partners

Prof. Dr. Beatrix Weber; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

Uncovering inefficiencies

The aim of the iECO project is to create a common data space for the construction industry, one of the key industries in the German economy, and to improve the entire construction process in the process: “In this project, we want to digitally map the entire life cycle of buildings and thus uncover inefficiencies in construction, maintenance and renovation. In this way, construction processes and other work can be designed more effectively. The platform then also registers at an early stage where problems may arise,” says Prof. Dr. Beatrix Weber.

The iECO project thus provides a completely new digital approach to linking testing procedures in the construction industry with companies and approval authorities. As an institution for the provision of construction engineering consulting and testing, we are pioneers of digital testing and are very happy to support the project with our know-how.”

Hans-Peter Trinkl, Chairman of the LGA Landesgewerbeanstalt Bayern

The view is similar at the district office in Hof:

This project win is something very special. The Hofer Land region is once again demonstrating its digital expertise and, as a model region for digital building applications, can set the tone for the entire construction industry. As an associated partner, we congratulate the entire consortium very warmly on this noteworthy success.”

Dr. Oliver Bär, District Administrator of Hof County
District Administrator Dr. Oliver Bär; Source. Hof District Office;

Official application still in July

The eleven projects selected by the Federal Network Agency can now submit formal applications for funding to the Federal Network Agency by the end of July 2021. These must include a project description and a work, financing and utilization plan. Five further projects will be able to submit applications – subject to the availability of sufficient budget funds – as part of a second approval tranche in 2022. According to the Federal Network Agency, the ideas selected so far cover the application areas of healthcare, law, education, finance, mobility, geoinformation, energy, aerospace, agriculture, construction and the public sector.

The consortium submitting the application iECO project:

-A1 Digital Deutschland GmbH-Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e. V.
-Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hof
-Implenia Hochbau GmbH, IOTA Stiftung
-IPROconsult GmbH
-N+P Informationssysteme GmbH
-LGA Landesgewerbeanstalt Bayern
-Software AG, Technische Universität Dresden
-Landkreis Hof (associated partner)

Consortium management: RIB Information Technologies AG

Background to the GAIA-X project

The GAIA-X project aims to establish a competitive and trustworthy digital data infrastructure. The goal is to create an open, transparent digital ecosystem where data and services can be made available, aggregated and shared in an environment of trust. Based on the GAIA-X infrastructure, economic potential can be realized, for example, by fostering innovation, generating synergies, and enabling new, rapidly scalable business models. Further information on GAIA-X can be found at: www.bnetza.de/gaia-x

Rainer Krauß

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