Boost for the north-east as local business leader showcases latest technology on Government mission to Shanghai

Press Release
6 March 2015

Richard Waterhouse, Chief Executive of Newcastle-based RIBA Enterprises was in Shanghai, taking part in the GREAT Festival of Creativity, a Government backed mission which showcases the best of British innovation to prospective clients and partners in China.

Last year, RIBA Enterprises, through its NBS brand, was awarded Government funding to develop a new ‘digital toolkit’ which is set to revolutionise the way in which buildings and infrastructure projects are designed, built and operated. The toolkit is a vital part of the ‘Building Information Modelling’ (BIM) initiative which is at the heart of the drive to position the UK as global leaders in the construction sector, one which is predicted to grow to $15 trillion by 2025.

Over in Shanghai, Mr Waterhouse was able to demonstrate the technology to Prince William and explain how the north-east of England is playing a central role in its development, with organisations including the University of Northumbria, architectural practice Ryder, 4Projects and a host of others at the forefront of this emerging sector.

Just given Prince William a #BIM demo at the GREAT Festival of Creativity in Shanghai 'Thats really cool' was the response

— Richard Waterhouse (@rpwaterhouse) March 3, 2015

Commenting on the visit to Shanghai, Mr Waterhouse said:

“It was fantastic to be able to demonstrate to a whole host of UK and Chinese business leaders the systems and technology that Newcastle and the wider north-east region is pioneering for the benefit of the UK construction industry.

“It was a real honour to be able to show our work to Prince William on his tour of the event. He clearly enjoyed the experience of viewing 3D models and instantly understood the benefits of BIM for the UK construction industry.

“The event really brought home the strength and depth of British creativity and innovation and to be able to show off what we’re doing on a stage this big is a tribute to our team, including all our partners and collaborators. I’m confident that some valuable opportunities will arise from this visit which will further benefit the north-east of England as we continue to build our digital industries.”

The toolkit project is due to be launched in June of this year. RIBA Enterprises is also pushing forward its ambitious plans to extend and redevelop its Old Post Office headquarters in the centre of Newcastle to allow for further growth. It was recently identified as the fastest growing non-retail business in the city.

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