The end of Urbantech, a start with COWI

Three intense and fun months of the Urbantech accelerator program for smart and sustainable cities in Copenhagen ended on 8 November, when Catenda presented at the Demo Day event. The presentation was a collaboration with the industry partner COWI, one of the five Urbantech founders.

400 start-ups and scale-ups participated in the initial selection rounds, 20 companies came to the finals, and in June Catenda became one of 10 companies who made it into Urbantech. From August through November, the companies participated in a weekly masterclasses, events, lectures and networking sessions to enhance the professionalisation, product development and value creation.

The industry partner collaboration, in Catenda´s case COWI / Arkitema, was another key elements of Urbantech, along with exposure to mentors, experts and companies in a vibrant Danish construction sector. All plays a part in accelerating the development of sustainable cities at a hands-on practitioner level.

The end of unstructured data exchange

– Participation in Urbantech and the collaboration with Catenda is important in order to explore how we can make workflow and project collaboration more efficient. This will contribute to more sustainable buildings and enable more data driven decision making, says Birgit Farstad Larsen, Senior Vice President Buildings at COWI.

Dag Fjeld Edvardsen, a co-founder of Catenda was the one presenting at the Demo Day, an event attended by 200 people leading the world of Danish construction. He explains that much of the motivation for developing Bimsync was that the construction sector needs better workflows and projects that have less fragmented stakeholder communication.

“When we started Catenda, the motivation was that many construction projects were inefficient and were flooded by emails, memos and phone calls in order to solve simple tasks. We want to make communication more efficient, centralised and easily accessible. In the Nordics we are not too fond of drawings, here we have moved on to digital models, but we still have a way to go on efficiency. Too much unstructured data exchange is still going on. With Bimsync, all project participants have full overview of the tasks at hand in real time, through all phases in the life of a building. Working with COWI / Arkitema has enabled us to further look at how we can develop Bimsync to better suit large industry actors," Dag Fjeld Edvardsen said.

Open standards is the key to circularity

Digitisation based on open international standards, data driven decisions, real value creation and a better workflow are all necessary components to create a circular economy for the construction industry and to ensure sustainable cities of tomorrow.

At the Urbantech Demo Day, Catenda and COWI / Arkitema presented their collaboration and their joint ambitions. During the three months of the program, Bimsync has been used in two pilot projects, Riksvei 36, a road project near Seljord in Lifjell in Norway, and in the project of Haukåsen school in Oslo. The pilots have been focused on gathering data in one place, link all data to a model, and connect the model to a progress timeline. In addition, experience learning based on metrics has been key elements. The collaboration will continue, and both parties consider it a start of a dynamic process pushing the envelope both in Catenda and in COWI / Arkitema.

“When scaleups and big industry companies collaborate, that provides learning for both parties. Our joint experience is that sharing ideas and learning from real projects have been very rewarding for all involved. For the project managers we see that it increases the work through improved flow of information and better documentation of the work process. There is no doubt that Bimsync can contribute to our value creation,” says Birgit Farstad Larsen.

In addition to Catenda, the other participating companies in the Urbantech 2019 roster have been:

Next Energy Technologies from United States
AIRBOXLAB from Luxembourg
SAALG Geomechanics from Spain
Anyware Solutions from Denmark
Moeco from Germany
PurCity from Denmark
Rysta from Germany
Powerfox from Germany
OrxaGrid from United Kingdom

Congratulations to all! It has been a true pleasure!

Urbantech: Accelerating the development of sustainable cities.

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