US infrastructure bill has US$100 million for tech

By Andy Brown17 August 2021

Construction is grappling with the challenges of digitisation, autonomous operation and electrification, creating an opportunity for new players to emerge

US President Joe Biden’s recently announced US$550 billion infrastructure bill includes US$100 million over five years to accelerate the deployment of digital construction technologies such as 3D modelling software and digital project management platforms.

The Coalition for Smarter Infrastructure Investments, a collection of digital infrastructure companies including Bentley Systems and Mott McDonald, lobbied for the inclusion of the funding in the bill to help the US construction industry embrace new technology.

In its current form the bill sees an annual US$20 million dollar investment fund for innovation in construction management.

“It would be crazy to pump hundreds of billions into new infrastructure projects while still relying on design and management systems that look like they are out of the 1930s,” said David McKenney, Vice President of Bentley Systems.

“America ranks only 13th in the world for infrastructure – we need to invest more to compete, but we also need to invest in a smarter way. Technology and data can help us do that.”

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