As the industry meets in Paris in the final week of April for this year’s Intermat, infrastructure development will be at the heart of many discussions taking place at the event.

As the backdrop to Intermat, Paris is currently facing pressure on its infrastructure system as it prepares to host the 2024 summer games. The city hosted the 2nd ever modern games in 1900, and the preparatory investment resulted in huge developments in the city’s infrastructure. Preparations for the event aim to unite the city with the outlying suburbs. The transport improvements will fall under the existing Grand Paris Express – a $25 billion expansion of the Paris Métro. You can hear more about this project at our seminar on the topic at Intermat.

This huge development in infrastructure is not unique to the city. Across France, projects are in progress which aim to bring the country’s aging infrastructure in line with the current demands from an increasingly urbanised population. February’s Spinetta Report said of the French rail system, “The situation today is that our network is in an advanced state of decrepitude - our infrastructure is on average twice as old as that in Germany”. The Lyon-Turin rail tunnel is just one example of the major projects to update the network.  France is also investing heavily in sustainable infrastructure, installing more electric vehicle charging points than any other nation during 2017, according to the new European data.

Globally we are facing a huge demand on our infrastructure. In France, as in the rest of Europe, aging post war assets are reaching the end of their intended design life. In emerging economic territories, there’s a huge pressure to quickly develop infrastructure assets. However, there’s a huge deficit between the amount of current capacity in the global construction industry and the level of demand. We’re at a tipping point, where we must adapt the way we are working as an industry in order to build and maintain the required infrastructure. 

This is our mission at Topcon and we articulate it as the Intersection of Infrastructure and Technology. We see adoption of smarter technology and automated workflows as an essential component to meet this demand. You can learn more about this with us at Intermat – where on stand and through our speaking events we’ll be sharing ideas and discussing the technology, ways of working and collaborations we need to adopt.

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