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M4i stops starts info share

COMPANIES WORKING on almost 50 demonstration projects will have to start sharing information about what they are doing right and what is going wrong under the first big test of the Egan report next month.

Christiani & Nielsen managing director Alan Crane, who heads the Movement for Innovation, announced the first wave of demonstration projects this week. Nine are categorised as civil engineering, worth a total of £612M, and another seven worth £342M are water projects. The other 35, with a value of £504M, are building schemes.

Demonstration projects were established as part of the Government's Rethinking Construction initiative (NCE 5 November 1998). They are intended to establish best practice and act as a catalyst for change in the efficiency of the industry.

Crane dismissed fears that traditionally secretive construction firms would find it hard to share information that could give a competitive advantage or damage their reputation.

'Everyone on the project team knows they have signed up to share information. I think one or two were originally not clear, but they have no doubts now,' he said.

'We know they will be nervous and that is why we counselled people not to go for the moon when deciding what criteria they wanted their project to demonstrate improvement in.

'We want to build people's confidence. They are involved in major cultural change and it will take a long time.' A further 36 schemes with a total cost of £2.9bn are in the pipeline. M4i will make a final appeal for additional projects in July.

Early results for industry-wide consumption are predicted for September.

Details of projects are on M4i's website: www.m4i.org.uk.

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