Attendees from across the globe discovered a wide array of innovative technologies and sustainable construction practices during the first-ever Oracle Construction and Engineering Summit.
The daylong summits held in April at the Oracle Industry Lab in Reading, UK featured a multitude of innovative technologies including autonomous drones and virtual reality in an intimate hands-on setting as Oracle innovation partners provided expert presentations and fascinating demonstrations as part of the Oracle Smart Construction Platform.
Team members from Network Rail, which owns, repairs, and develops the railway infrastructure across England, Scotland, and Wales, offered their takeaways from the summit.
“Fantastic day,” John Nolan says of the visit. “It was a unique experience. I enjoyed seeing all technologies in place—especially the train carriage with the robots. The amount of technology and people the lab works with across so many industries was an eye opener for me. It was a brilliant day.”
Kelly Tierney found the event to be thought provoking and extremely beneficial for Network Rail.
“I met some great people who showed us really innovative technology,” she says. “My mind is in overdrive; lots of thoughts, great initiatives, and great tools. I really enjoyed it.”
David John, project manager at Network Rail, also was impressed by the wide array of partner technologies on display.
“It’s made us realize as an organization that we have been standing still with our technology,” he says. “We have seen some absolutely amazing things today that would help drive us forward. We look forward to exploring that.”
DustscanAQ is an innovation partner with the lab, and Oliver Puddle, DustscanAQ’s technical director, was taking it all in during his first visit. “We’re very impressed by the setup here at the lab,” Puddle says. “The facilities are amazing and it’s great to connect our technology with so many people.”
Attendees from Costain, which provides climate change and decarbonization solutions across the UK, were interested in how they can utilize partner applications in certain environments.
“What Oracle has built here is great,” says Chris Dewhurst and John Hunking. “One of the things we were talking about is the kind of people that we may bring to this environment to have a look at the lab, and work with winning teams on innovation.”
Neil Marshall, chartered architectural technologist at UK-based infrastructure construction specialists J. Murphy and Sons, also thinks his company would benefit by spending a day at the lab. Marshall generated plenty of new ideas after meeting with people during his visit.
“This was very useful indeed,” Marshall says. “There are lots of people keen in my organization have a look and see some events and the systems available and how they can all work together to improve our construction processes.”
Matt Gaffan, senior programme manager at Jaguar Land Rover, appreciated that much of the event’s focus was on the construction industry and saw “applicability” to his company.
“It’s been a fascinating day,” he says. “We have different teams who would find this interesting, in particular to see some of the drone technology and some of the ideas in that.”
Jonathan Williams from the UK’s Environment Agency was impressed with the wide range of technologies and level of expertise.
“You go from material management to sustainability right through to schedules and even virtual reality,” he says. “There’s a diversity of thinking while bringing everyone into the same space.”
Looking ahead, he’s interested in exploring a brainstorming session at the lab’s mission control cabin to learn how the agency might partner with the lab for long-term outcomes.
“I really like what someone said earlier: timebound outcomes. If we could incentivize around that, it could be the next lever to mix in the right innovation for us.”
“We had a great week to kickstart the Construction Zone at the Oracle Industry Lab in Reading,” says Geoff Roberts, director of industry and innovation for Oracle Construction and Engineering, who hosted the summit. “A combination of customers, innovation partners and Oracle folks collaborated on subjects related to digital construction and engineering was exciting for all. Now we are truly open for business and look to welcome all organizations looking to further their digital journey.”
If you are interested in visiting the lab, please contact Roberts at: email@example.com.
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.