‘Innovation Series’ Forum to Focus on Innovating for Timely Delivery of Infrastructure Projects

A section of the Kampala - Entebbe expressway

Experts and industry heads are set to deliberate on how to use innovation to fast track infrastructure projects, at the  Fourth Edition of the Innovation Series.

The 4 Fourth Edition of the Innovation Series will be held at the Golf Course Hotel, in Kampala on October 31, 2019, under the theme: Fast-tracking Infrastructure Project Completion Through Innovation.

The forum is organized by PR and events agency, Brainchild Burson Cohn and Wolfe (BCW). It seeks to promote innovation in business through thought-provoking discussions on new and cost-effective ways of delivering products, and services which affect the growth of firms or organizations.

Announcing the event on Tuesday, Walter Wafula, the Business Unit Head at brainchild BCW, said; “This edition of Innovation Series will convene key and influential players in Uganda’s infrastructure sector, to deliberate on innovation techniques and trends in project planning, and development to foster faster delivery of roads, internet and power to the last mile”.

The background to the next edition, he said, was the recurrent delays in infrastructure project completion that cost both the government and the citizens over Shs2.8 trillion (USD 800m) in national income and productive work time, per annum, according to a World Bank study.

Apart from Isimba Hydropower dam, we have seen various road and power infrastructure projects whose completion has stalled not only because of land compensation issues but also the fact that many contractors are not leveraging the power of innovation to fast-track the delivery of these projects. Therefore, Innovation Series, provides a perfect platform to showcase and discuss new and cost-effective ways of delivering infrastructure in Uganda,” Wafula explained.

According to Emerging Trends in Infrastructure, 2019, a report by global auditing firm KPMG, three quarters of innovative leaders in the global infrastructure development sector, acknowledge that they are ahead of their competitors because, they lead in adopting new operational technologies like; BIM, drones, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Smart Sensors, Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, in project planning, management and development.

“Global Industry executives who operate in Europe, hold the perception that within 5 years, 83% feel organizations will be data-driven, including; routine use of data analytics and predictive modelling for project planning and monitoring while 69% expect to see new entrants challenging traditional players,” the report that is based on a global sector survey reads in part.

The findings of the report which was released in February 2019 were based on a survey among 223 engineering and construction companies and project owners from a variety of industries.

“Technology is providing the scope for radically different solutions to infrastructure needs, and often much more cost effectively. In fact, in some cases, the answer may not involve any civil engineering or building at all,” the report says, adding that, “As a result, there is significant potential for emerging markets to leapfrog the developed world.”

In line with this thinking, some of the key focus areas to be discussed under the theme of Innovation Series 4 include; new and cost-effective models of delivering roads and bridges, alternative infrastructure financing options  for project contractors, investible cities infrastructure projects for venture capital and equity investments, and next generation infrastructure development requirements and preparedness, among others.

Uganda is currently pursuing a number of infrastructure projects across the transport, energy and information communication technology (ICT).

In an effort to improve the national transport network, the Government of Uganda this financial year, 2019/20, allocated over Shs 6.4 trillion to the works and transport sector while Shs 3.1 trillion allocated to energy and ICT infrastructure to promote economic growth and transformation.

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