By funding the professorship, the Norwegian Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry acknowledge the value of BI’s knowledge contributions. In order to enhance the industry’s value creation, Professor Kvålshaugen will focus on efficient collaboration processes in construction projects, opportunities in digitalisation and solutions related to climate change.
“To contribute with research-based knowledge on these topics is motivating and rewarding because of the direct value to the industry, while we also develop scientific knowledge about management and organisation for dealing with large and complex changes”, says Kvålshaugen.
Partners in research
The endowed professorship is funded by Backe, Obos, Norconsult and Statsbygg. The partners value BI as an important scientific knowledge contributor on how the industry can improve collaboration throughout the value chain for improved productivity and value creation.
“Norconsult wants to support this work. In particular, we want to look closely at collaboration methods in our most future-oriented projects, so called Ground-breaking projects, and to get an academic perspective on how we can ensure knowledge transfer from these types of projects to the rest of the organisation”, says Per Kristian Jacobsen, CEO of Norconsult which is the newcomer among the professorship funders.
Reaping societal benefits of research
The Centre for Construction Industry was established in 2005, based on an initiative from the industry itself. Since then the centre has systematically mapped the industry and documented its important position in Norway both as value creator, employer and rural area provider.
As the AEC-industry is inter-organisational and project-based, knowledge about how to succeed with collaboration is imperative. Many of the actors in the industry are state-owned and numerous large construction projects are public contracts. More knowledge of how to run these projects efficiently have considerable impact for the society.
Industry relevant knowledge
Traditionally, the AEC-industry’s research focus has been on technology and construction materials, but has over the years become increasingly more concerned with how this research can be turned into successful business operations. By collaborating with BI the industry gets access to highly relevant academic experts in business administration. BI also value such partnerships.
“These kind of professorships makes BI well-connected with the business world. Professorship agreements promote continuous dialogue with actors in society and ensure that our research is practically relevant” says BIs president Inge Jan Henjesand.