As the year draws to a close, I would like to take the opportunity to reflect on some key achievements the CRC for Construction Innovation has delivered over the past 12 months.
Our links with Western Australia were significantly strengthened when we welcomed the Western Australian Governments Department of Housing and Works and Curtin University of Technology as core partners into our applied research and education program. This brings to 21 the number of industry, government and research partners shaping the directions of Construction Innovation and our industry.
In March on the Gold Coast, we held our Second Clients Driving Innovation International Conference: Moving Ideas into Practice, which attracted over 230 people from across 12 countries. The conference program reflected the key relationship that construction delivery teams play in the innovation process - particularly in the project environment that characterises property, design, construction and facility management. Our next conference is scheduled for 12-14 March 2008 and will be themed Benefiting from Innovation.
A Construction Innovation project which developed world-first technology to diagnose and provide solutions to under-performing construction projects won the 2006 Professional Excellence Award for research and development at the Australian Institute of Building national awards. Congratulations to the Project Diagnostics team, led by John Tsoukas at Arup.
Another Construction Innovation software tool, DesignCheck, which provides automated checking of designs against building codes received a High Commendation Award in the same category. Such awards reflect industry recognition of the outcomes of Construction Innovations collaborative approach in fostering innovation in the building and construction industry.
A new framework for safety in the construction industry was launched by the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon Kevin Andrews MP. The framework aims to bring about a long-term cultural change in the industry to improve OH&S practices. On average, one person dies each week on Australian construction sites and there are thousands of serious injuries reported each year. Our CRC will work with industry to improve these damning statistics. The level of interest in the outcomes of this project, led by Dean Cipolla, Group Safety Manager, John Holland, was such that Construction Innovation held additional workshops in Perth and Brisbane to disseminate the key findings. Copies of the report are available on our website.
Another project which attracted much interest was the Sydney Opera House Facilities Management Exemplar project. This project sought to develop an integrated FM solution with broad industry applications, using the Sydney Opera House as a case study. Showcase events reporting on the findings of this project were held in Sydney at the Opera House Melbourne and Brisbane.
Seven Construction Innovation-sponsored research scholars undertaking PhD or Masters degrees in key building and construction areas completed their theses this year, bringing the number of scholars we have supported to 23. All our PhD and Masters scholars have industry associate supervisors, or direct contact with industry in their research.
Currently five Construction Innovation ICT products are being trialled as prototypes by participants and external parties in the industry: LCADesign, Automatic Estimator, Automatic Scheduler, DesignCheck and Noise Management. These toolsare the subject of current commercialisation negotiations.
We are also working closely with key stakeholders to develop a two-year research program on Integrated Digital Solutions. This program aims to develop digital modelling standards for industry and build industry skills and capabilities in digital modelling. The program is planned to commence in July 2007.
These significant outcomes reflect the skill and dedication of our partners and research project participants. Their success is our success! Our continued collaboration is vital to the future growth of Australias building and construction industry.