|Vision and Goals||Duration and Volume||Main Results||Future Development||Conclusions|
The vision of the Vera Technology Programme was management of information through the entire life cycle of the built environment. It is necessary to get interoperable information from all participants in the process, because that would enable real as-built information and also evaluation of building's life cycle properties already in early phases of the design process. The Programme Steering Group and Tekes estimated that realization of the Programme vision would have positive impact to the AEC/FM cluster and to the whole society on national level.
Vision and Goals of the Vera Programme
The four central goals identified to achieve the vision of the Programme were:
Total duration of the Programme was six years, 1997-2002.
When the Programme started in 1997 the planned total volume was expected to be 28 M euro, of which 12 M euro was planned to be funded by Tekes and the rest by the industry. However, the industry interest on the R&D projects on this area was so strong that the final budget increased during the Programme to almost 47 M euro, of which about 22 M euro was funded by Tekes. 4 M euro of Tekes funding was used in the projects of universities and research institutes, and about 18 M euro in industrial projects.
In total Programme initiated 161 projects, of which 48 were research and 113 industrial projects. The average budget in research projects was significantly smaller than in industrial projects, but the funding proportion of Tekes was much higher.
|Research Projects||6.2 M€||13%||4.0 M€||18%||48||30%||130 K€||65%|
|Industrial Projects||40.5 M€||87%||18.2 M€||82%||113||70%||360 K€||45%|
|Total||46.7 M€||100%||22.2 M€||100%||161||100%||290 K€||48%|
Final evaluation of the results and impacts of the Programme will be possible only after some years. However, the Programme has been evaluated in several phases already before it was finished. The first mid-term evaluation took place in 1999-2000. The international part of final evaluation was done in Summer 2002 and national evaluation of the impacts was done in the end of 2002 as part of extensive evaluation of the Tekes technology programmes for AEC/FM cluster. Based on these evaluations the main results and impacts of the Programme have been:
Wide Adoption of Product Model Concept as a Part of AEC/FM Industry's Processes and Strategy
New Software Products
Activation of Facility Owners
One of the central goals was not achieved. Vera Programme could not activate sufficiently the facility owners to participate in the R&D projects. Thus, the impact of the projects was too much focusing in the production of new buildings, and one identified output - modelling of the existing buildings - was not achieved.
Continuous Development of Product Model Based Software and Processes
Although the Programme had significant impact in the development of international product model standard and created several integrated software products based on PM technology, which were also tested in some real construction projects, there is still a long way to the real change of industry paradigm. The need for further R&D work for tools and processes is still huge. However, this was also expected already when the Programme started, because such a change effecting the whole AEC/FM industry cluster can not happen fast.
Increased Efficiency in Dissemination of the Results
One problem identified both in mid-term and final evaluation was the implementation of the research results into practice. It is not a problem just in the Vera Programme, but a phenomenon in all R&D activities. Each project creates a lot of knowledge and information, which often is utilised only by the project participants. There is clear need to develop methods for more efficient dissemination, which would significantly strengthen the impact of technology programmes. Although there is no doubt that dissemination will face many IPR and confidential business issues, this is an important area needing active development.
Development of AEC/FM Education
From the Programme view point one must unfortunately state, that the universities providing education for AEC/FM professions, were not actively initiating, nor participating in the projects. The effects of the changes in technology have not either been recognized in the education. One of the central problems in the future will therefore be the lack of people able to utilise ICT in the industry tasks, and even more so in the R&D field.
All current evaluations show that Vera Technology Programme has succeeded well in its main goals. In the situation, when the Programme has just ended, and the last projects are still on-going, the investments in basic technologies as well as in product and process development seems to well in balance. Also the seminars and information dissemination of the Programme have been evaluated to be successful.
However, final results and effects of the Programme can be evaluated only after some years. Time will tell if Finland was able to achieve a permanent position as one of the leading countries in the ICT development and implementation in AEC/FM industry cluster, and especially if this R&D effort was able to create basis for better built environment and successful global business, which can benefit the Finnish society in the future.