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Innovation in construction lacks funding, says speaker for Association of Consulting Engineering Companies-Canada

While the drive to advance innovation in the construction industry has support on a philosophical level, funding remains a challenge, says Ron de Vries, senior vice-president of Defence Construction Canada.

“The innovation agenda struggles to garner financial support,” de Vries told a session at the annual summit and national convention of the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies-Canada.



He told consulting engineers from across Canada that there are many reasons for this situation, among them a highly fragmented industry, limited research and development funding and lack of co-ordination.

He noted that the Canadian Construction Innovation Council, for one, has published several reports “providing a platform for the innovation agenda,” but funding has not been found.



De Vries, who has a civil engineering degree and who joined the federal Crown corporation in 1983, said numerous studies have indicated that the construction industry has not made significant gains when it comes to productivity, for example.

Despite the obstacles in advancing the innovation agenda, de Vries said there are “pockets of inertia” to drive the initiative forward.


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