Innovation and sustainability top upcoming Oracle Construction and Engineering summit

March 14, 2023 | 8 minute read
Rick Bell
Senior Content Marketing Manager
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Presentations featuring sustainable construction practices and innovative technologies including autonomous drones and virtual reality in a hands-on setting highlight the upcoming three-day Oracle Construction and Engineering Summits.

Hosted by Geoff Roberts, director of industry and innovation for Oracle Construction and Engineering, the summits are set for April 17, 19, and 21 at the Oracle Industry Lab in Reading, UK. The daylong summits, which will feature Oracle innovation partner presentations and demonstrations of the Oracle Smart Construction Platform, are planned to occur around Oracle CloudWorld in London on April 19.

Roberts, a chartered surveyor with more than 40 years’ experience in all aspects of project management and project controls, will open each day’s session with an introduction to Oracle’s innovation strategies.

We caught up with Roberts to get a preview of what attendees will see and experience during their daylong summit.

QUESTION: Can you describe the mission of the Oracle Industry Labs and specifically the focus of the lab in the UK?

GEOFF ROBERTS: The overall lab mission has been to grow the construction vision of the future for the whole industry, both owners and delivery partners. More importantly, it's enabling a safe area that's near real world for co-innovation between not only our partners, but ourselves and our partners, and perhaps our partners and their customers. In terms of how we've translated that into the UK lab, it's more the European and Middle East lab that happens to be located in the UK. It's very much a themed lab around sustainability, mobility, and accessibility. It’s also about the full end-to-end lifecycle of transportation.

It's about how we make transportation sustainable, and we built the whole facility in a sustainable way. What we showcase is a lot of partner innovation and capability around sustainability. In terms of projects and assets, it’s how we think about the full lifecycle of transportation. From home through transport to a train station, and then the last mile to the office. How that all interacts in terms of accessibility and then mobility. And again, how do we interact with the 5G network. So that's how we're overlaying our thinking around the mission and what the theme is for the European and Middle East lab.

Ultimately it’s about data and enabling construction professionals to make better informed decisions by bringing together the Oracle Smart Construction Platform and innovation partner data.

QUESTION: Can you describe what the summits are and the key topics?

GEOFF ROBERTS: We came up with a concept of a construction and engineering summit to be held on three days the week of April 17. And the reason we chose that is because Oracle CloudWorld is in London on April 19. Some people will be there, but they may not be construction focused. The intent was to create a wrapped-around agenda for the whole week. Each summit is the same on each day and it comprises the ability to discuss why we have built innovation labs. What is the value to us and to our customers and partners, and then show everybody a true lab tour so that they can see exactly what we've built. Some of it also will relate to other business areas like hospitality, and food and beverage.

This is really about education, a deepened experience that we can give in a short time to those visiting from our partners and ourselves. There will be experiences that are very much hands on around hardware, sensors, and tracking. There'll be partners who are showcasing their capabilities. All of this is integrated with showcasing our Smart Construction Platform. We will enable 40 individuals per day from a broad range of construction customers to come and have that experience, and in those four hours, pick and choose what they want to see and who they want to talk to.

QUESTION: It's interesting too, given the lab’s focus on sustainability, that the event leads up to Earth Day on April 22.

GEOFF ROBERTS: Absolutely. And you've heard me talk quite a bit about the sustainability. We built the lab in a sustainable way. There are lots of sustainable partners. We're focused on thinking about sustainability at the project level. Now, there's an awful lot of talk about sustainability and carbon metrics at the corporate level, but ultimately, it's the projects that will have to manage this data. We want to get down to that level quickly and help project management and project controls teams to start thinking about how they can capture and benchmark that data.

QUESTION: Who will be participating?

GEOFF ROBERTS: The attendees will be construction organizations (both owner and contracting) from across the UK, Europe, and the Middle East. It's the first 120 who register will get a slot. And then on site we will have our innovation partners, who will be showcasing their experiences integrated into our Smart Construction Platform. And there will be key Oracle representatives supporting them.

QUESTION: What are the Innovation Partner Experiences?

GEOFF ROBERTS: We've focused them into five areas. We have sustainability, reality capture, Internet of Things, so that's more about people and materials. We have true end-to-end material management, which is the fourth. And then the fifth one is ad hoc with innovation partners.

QUESTION: What are you looking most forward to?

GEOFF ROBERTS: I'm most looking forward to getting a broad range of construction individuals into the lab, both owners and delivery-type organizations, to showcase what Oracle has accomplished here. It is quite unique in the world. As we know, there aren't many of these. And what I hope to get out of it is that there may only be one or two individuals from an organization that come, but on the back of this we can have a full-day experience with a single organization and turn it into a business meeting and then an innovation strategy discussion for that organization.

QUESTION: When you go to the lab, what are your impressions? What do you see?

GEOFF ROBERTS: I've been involved in the lab from day one. I was involved right up from the first phase of the Oracle Industry Lab in Chicago. I've always seen a vision for how we can showcase the construction of the future. We can't be everything to everyone, so therefore we work with partners as do our customers. What we're doing is showcasing capability. It's what type of innovation that partners bring to the table that is the value add. The incremental benefit is what all construction organizations are looking to do. And that's what I see as a huge. The reason for growing these labs is to help construction in Europe and the Middle East to grow.

QUESTION: What are some of the most pressing topics today in engineering and construction? And how will the labs and the summits help to answer them?

GEOFF ROBERTS: There's a significant number, but if you think about the main ones, there's offsite manufacturing, so it's about being more precise with a more manufacturing-based approach. That's a productivity thing. Productivity as we know in construction is poor, and we must improve that. And offsite manufacturing has become one of those potentials that offers incremental gain. There’s collaboration. Though collaboration has been driven significantly by the pandemic, it's about reducing the need for people to work face to face and onsite. The more we change that, the better. So, collaboration is big. Also, what can I do with video images and point clouds where I can't do with putting a human in that space to do that measurement? Often, it's more accurate with automated tools. Ultimately, the big one that everybody is still focused on is ensuring that the workforce that arrives in the morning is exactly the same workforce that goes home at night. Safety should be paramount in all of our thinking and in construction.

QUESTION: What would you tell someone who might be on the fence about attending the event?

GEOFF ROBERTS: You get to see a vision of the future on where your organization could potentially go. And not all at once. This is about a road-mapping type view. It's about understanding what incremental gain I can get but more importantly, understand what your organization's business challenges are. Because these innovation partners all answer a challenge that we talk about to people in the industry. So, it's not just Geoff deciding who is an innovation partner. We went to the industry, asked them about their challenges, and then backed that with innovation partners. These partners will always have answers to the challenges that you are likely to be facing.

Partners include:

Esri—Next generation project scheduling and risk management through applying spatial technology and AI/ML.

Vrex—Collaborative design and as-built reviews using virtual reality.

Reconstruct—Next generation progress and quality management.

H3Dynamics—Autonomous drones in project and operation management.

Circulor—Carbon management (sustainability) at the project level. 

Naturemetrics—Biodiversity (sustainability) a challenge to project moving forward.—NLP for Projects, via email and project docs.

Wint—Detects and stops leaks at the source and in real-time, using artificial intelligence, advanced data analysis and pattern recognition.

DustScan AQ—Air quality monitoring in real time.

Concur—Sensor-based optimized concrete construction.

36 Zero—Real time workforce health and safety.

Propergate—Material delivery/logistics.

SiteSense—Real time material tracking and management.

CAXperts—3D Data visualization.

Buildots—AI-based computer vision platform enables for project progress.

Openspace—360-degree reality-based jobsite progress.

Evercam—Image-based jobsite progress.

AI Clearing—Linear reality-based progress capture.

Nomitech—Cost estimating solutions.

To register for the summit, please contact your local representative.

In the UK:

  • Andrew Godfrey—
  • Daniel Bryett—

In Europe:

  • Jean-Marc Coudray—
  • Joachim Bause—

In the Middle East:

  • Baraq Hadi—

The Oracle Smart Construction Platform combines our industry-trusted applications with a common data environment and an ecosystem of partners to help owners and delivery teams work together and continuously improve performance. The platform connects teams and data, synchronizes work, and empowers individuals to make informed, proactive decisions. Power performance with proven Oracle Construction and Engineering solutions for scheduling, portfolio management, construction project management, project controls, construction payment management, and more.

Read more about construction project management solutions:


Rick Bell

Senior Content Marketing Manager

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