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The COVID-19 crisis highly demonstrated the weakness of European companies and principally of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to adopt both novel processes and technologies to meet new customer expectations, and to gain or improve skills to confront the new business conditions. More specifically, with regard to the construction industry, the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the importance of issues that have been dogging the domain for years. Indeed, stagnant productivity, low levels of digitization, low profitability as well as the domain highly bespoke building approach, fragmented ecosystem, and high share of on-site manual labour have signalled disruption over the last years.

Furthermore, a combination of increasingly stringent sustainability requirements, rising cost pressure, labour scarcity, and new available materials, production approaches, and digital tools are forcing the industry to innovate.

To that end, and taking under consideration the EU Industrial Strategy, the SUSTAIN is scheduled to address all the three specific needs that were derived from the above strategy. In particular, SUSTAIN will:

  1. Boost the market of building construction by developing a wide network of related clusters and SMEs in order to minimize the effect of the Covid- 19 crisis;
  2. Address the strategic dependencies, both technological and industrial in the field of building construction sector and enhance the EU’s open strategic autonomy, by promoting innovative services and training SMEs to adopt these services ;
  3. Focus on the green and digital transition for companies related in the market of building sector, by promoting innovative solutions related to buildings’ energy efficiency and smartness.

Concerning the third point, SUSTAIN will focus on introducing an innovative digital tool that assess the building Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI) using Building Information Modelling (BIM) technologies.

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