Strengthening cooperation with the building, construction and property industry

1 September 2015

BI aims to strengthen research, development and dissemination of knowledge within the construction and property industry through a partnership of two professorships.

- The professorships highlight the necessity of research on the industry from a business school perspective, while it will help to further develop the strong academic environment at BI. We look forward to working together to develop new knowledge for the building, construction and property industry, which will benefit both wider research, education and industry, says BI President Inge Jan Henjesand.  

The cooperation agreements consist of two endowed professorships. A 5-year professorship from OBOS within housing development and development economics, and a 3-year professorship in efficient building processes from a consortium of Statsbygg, Multiconsult, Backegruppe and GK. Both endowed professorships are coordinated by the Centre for the Construction Industry at BI.

- Many of the industry's challenges are related to management, organization, innovation and economics, and BI therefore plays a central role in the development of the construction and property industry, says Head of Centre for the Construction Industry at BI, Lena Bygballe.

About the OBOS endowed professorship within housing development and development economics

Deputy CEO  of OBOS, Daniel K. Siraj, views increased competence and understanding as important focus areas for the industry.

- As one of the largest residential construction companies, OBOS is keen to increase competence and understanding of housing development and construction finance. This is important for the industry, for decision makers in the public sector and for society as a whole. The creation of such a professorship at BI will contribute to this.

About the endowed professorship in efficient building processes 

CEO of Statsbygg, Harald V. Nikolaisen, highlighting the importance of this endowed professorship:

- Knowledge of and research on the overarching challenges in the industry makes an important contribution to streamlining the entire industry.

CEO of Backegruppen, Eirik Gjelsvik, also believes that the focus on efficiency in the industry is crucial:

- Construction costs in Norway are high and efficiency is often questioned, though without solid foundation. We want to contribute research into effective building processes where in my opinion, interaction and planning are two key words.

CEO of GK, Jon Valen-Sendstad says of the initiative:

- In today's building industry, we see that the technical installations are becoming more voluminous, advanced and integrated in the building process, and GK wants to be involved in all phases, also to ensure the operation, maintenance and development so that the building is constructed as planned. We therefore support research on how we can streamline and ensure the quality of these processes and phases of the building lifecycle.

CEO of Multiconsult, Christian Nørgaard Madsen points out the importance of research-based knowledge:

- It is important for us and the industry to take decisions related to value creation based on facts. By gaining insight and knowledge we will also develop methodologies and expertise for long-term value for our customers and society.  

BI will decide who will chosen for the professorships based on the criteria that applies for the appointment of professors. Both professorships will be tendered. Holders of the professorships will conduct free and independent research, and will have full freedom to express their professional opinions on any topic.

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