Edinburgh Napier University‘s School of Computing is teaming up with newly-formed technology company Hypervine Ltd following a series of construction industry scandals which have highlighted the need for strong audit trails for undertaken work.
Based in Glasgow, Hypervine focuses on digitising construction to improve the reporting and recording of data, enabling companies to adapt to fast-changing economic, environmental and governmental policies.
The construction sector has been hit by negative headlines locally and nationally following events like the Edinburgh PFI schools crisis and the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London. Furthermore, the annual spend due to construction errors is estimated to be around seven times the total annual profit of the UK industry.
In response to these disasters, this joint-effort between Hypervine and the University will investigate ways in which blockchain can incorporate security into complicated construction processes, create trust, build compliance and boost productivity.
Collaborations Can Help New Businesses Growth
Supported by the Scottish Funding Council, the collaboration, that will run until November 2018, was brought about by Interface – which works with businesses to translate their ideas into dynamic briefs for academics.
Ruth Oliver, Business Engagement Executive at Interface, said of the collaboration: “Edinburgh Napier’s School of Computing was a natural choice for Hypervine; Professor Bill Buchanan is one of the world’s leading lights in blockchain technology and, together with researcher Liam Bell, offers a wealth of experience in supporting businesses and organisations in the practical application of this technology.
“Partnerships with academia can propel companies onto the next stage of their development, enabling them to enter new markets, win additional business and grow their business.”
Blockchain Solutions Provide Much Needed Trust
Professor Bill Buchanan, Director of the Blockpass Identity Lab, said: “The nature of the construction industry is that there are many stakeholders involved, and making sure that each part of the process is working as it should can be difficult.
A blockchain solution will aim to integrate digital signing into the key parts of the process.” Liam Bell, the lead blockchain researcher in the lab, added that a blockchain solution is the “natural” choice in the construction industry where strong trust is needed in the process.
Paul Duddy, CEO and founder of Hypervine, believes that: “Digitising infrastructure, construction and facility maintenance industries through blockchain technologies will yield significant improvements across the sector that will have wide ranging positive economic and social economic impacts for both private and public sectors.”