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Funding blamed for technology shortfall

POOR CO-ORDINATION of research funding is holding back massive savings in the UK construction industry, according to an ICE-funded report published this week .

The report, Robobuild, examines the use of new technology in the construction industry but highlights the fragmentation of advances in construction automation in the UK.

The claims follow international criticism at the Bauma plant show of UK's lack of progress in such automation (NCE 9 April). Author David Cobb attributes this stunted development to 'widespread ignorance in the civil engineering industry'. He claims that successful developments in earth moving and window cleaning mask an overall lack of progress.

Robots, Cobb suggests, could reduce construction costs by 15% in five years without compromising safety and quality. The report concludes that an umbrella body is essential to advise and co-ordinate future allocations of public sector funding.

Richard Thompson

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