PROGRAMME DESCRIPTION

Vision and Goals Duration and Volume Main Results Future Development Conclusions

Vision and Goals

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:

  1. Integrated information management among all participants in the construction project. The participants must be able to deliver needed and correct information in the correct format to the correct person at the correct time. Central element in this process is interoperable information.
  2. Efficient use of information networks. In AEC industry the participants are usually changing in every project. Information exchange between participants is very active and consists of constantly changed and updated information. In this situation information networks could provide significant improvement in information exchange efficiency and management compared to the current process.
  3. Efficient and wide utilization of information and communication technology (ICT). The various parties in the AEC/FM industry have applied and developed information technology focusing only on their own needs, and based on the traditional, paper based documents, which were necessary before ICT tools. Thus, they are not able to solve the basic problem of fragmented information of same objects in different documents leading often to conflicting documents. Information networking and product model based technologies can significantly reduce the repeated and non-value added work resulting from the current systems. However, this is not possible without having the whole value chain using new technologies based on product models.
  4. Development of design, construction and FM processes to provide efficient and flexible support for client needs, sustainable development and value networks. Information technology was seen as an enabling technology in this development.

Duration and Volume

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.

Total
budget

%

Tekes
funding

%

Number of
projects

%

Average
project budget

Proportion of
Tekes funding

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%

Main Results

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

International Networks

New Software Products

Identified Problems and Development Needs in Future

Activation of Facility Owners

Continuous Development of Product Model Based Software and Processes

Increased Efficiency in Dissemination of the Results

Development of AEC/FM Education

Conclusions

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.