In EU-27, the Construction sector represents 25 million workers, 9,6% GDP, 6,4% of total employment and 5,3 million companies for a total of 101,1 b€ turnover. But the sector faces major challenges for the coming years. With 40% of EU energy consumption, 36% of CO2 emissions and only 1% of renovation rate, the sector must massively invest in the green transition keeping in mind that we spend 90% of our time indoor and 97% of the housing stock is (energy) inefficient. The digitalisation of the sector provides a tremendous lever arm to increase the productivity and respond to this green transition but companies lack information, confidence, skills and access to finance to invest in digital. Studies indicate that digital transformation in the Construction sector can result in productivity gains of 14 to 15 percent and cost reductions of 4 to 6 percent. To respond to economic imperatives and increase the digital maturity of its companies, the construction sector has pulled out all the stops to commit itself to the innovation dynamic driven by Digital Europe and proposes the creation of a European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH) dedicated to Digital Construction (“CONNECT”) in Wallonia. The project will be based on four pillars (test before invest, skills and competences, innovation eco-system and financial support) and articulated around AI, IoT, robotics and more generally data-driven technologies applied in Construction. As the EC recognised the Construction as a priority industrial ecosystem, the EDIH CONNECT will deeply contribute to this strategy and will specifically tackle the low adoption rate of digital by SMEs and the public administration in Wallonia and in the Construction sector in general. It will also enable Walloon companies to export their know-how within a European dimension, while promoting the digital transformation of a sector that is important for the Walloon economy (13% of added value, 17% of total private employment).
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av. Pierre Holoffe 21