A new research report released by Siemens Smart Infrastructure, titled 'A New Space Race,' has highlighted the increasingly urgent need to transform global infrastructure to focus on adaptability, resiliency and decarbonization.
Data from the report shows infrastructure leaders worldwide recognize the need for digitalization to tackle challenges in energy systems and the built environment.
'Infrastructure stakeholders are starting to act with real urgency. They recognize the need to accelerate decarbonization, to build greater resilience and adaptability, while maintaining competitiveness,' said Matthias Rebellius, CEO, Siemens Smart Infrastructure. 'Major change is challenging, but our highest goals are possible if we harness the power of data and new technologies, welcome greater cooperation and keep driving innovation.'
Based on interviews with 500 senior managers from a range of infrastructure disciplines in 10 countries, the report highlights changing priorities in a post-pandemic world. Among its findings is an increasing focus on the role of infrastructure in driving a digitalized energy transition, reducing carbon emissions, enabling future working models, and its potential to play a more active role in the health and wellbeing of people.
Digitalization as an enabler for decarbonizing infrastructure
The report shows a significant rise in the number of organizations setting low-carbon or net-zero targets, and most respondents are optimistic about these goals, with the majority (94%) expecting their organizations to be carbon neutral by 2030.
67% of energy infrastructure stakeholders believe that net zero energy is impossible without digitalization, with AI-driven prediction and automation considered to have the biggest impact on infrastructure assets, projects, and investments over the next five years.
However, the majority (63%) of infrastructure stakeholders believe the digitalization of buildings and power networks is lagging behind digital progress in other industries. Only 31% of those questioned said they make full use of the data available to them, with almost half reporting they have not yet done so.
Future adaptability is the most important requirement for buildings
In addition to the impact of infrastructure on the environment, the report also highlights the changing needs and expectations of people in their buildings, factories, facilities, offices, homes and surrounding infrastructure. It reveals that for many, adaptability is considered the most critical factor when designing a new building or facility, to allow the re-purposing of spaces to suit changing occupants. Not only was this considered the most important thing to get right; it was also considered the most difficult.
'Buildings will be a lot more digital in the future,' said Rebellius. 'A facility manager will not only be able to automate, and remotely control more functionality, they will also benefit from a wider network of better sensors that flow into integrated visualizations and richer datasets. This will support a new level of fine-grained control and insights that are needed to make future buildings more resilient and flexible.'
Information for journalists
The research identifies three connected, overlapping dimensions or 'spaces' in which infrastructure stakeholders are racing to adapt their assets. The first, the physical space, highlights the changing needs and expectations of people in their buildings, factories, facilities, offices, homes and surrounding infrastructure.
The second dimension, the digital space, discusses the evolution of the operational backbone of physical spaces, driven by advances in AI, automation, energy systems, connectivity and data-driven predictions. The third dimension, the Earth space, discusses the impact of physical and digital spaces on the planet as a whole, including a revolution in energy systems which will create a sustainable legacy for future generations.
In each of these spaces, 'A New Space Race' explores the challenges and hazards those concerned will need to address, in order to stay ahead.
Siemens Smart Infrastructure (SI) is shaping the market for intelligent, adaptive infrastructure for today and the future. It addresses the pressing challenges of urbanization and climate change by connecting energy systems, buildings and industries. SI provides customers with a comprehensive end-to-end portfolio from a single source - with products, systems, solutions and services from the point of power generation all the way to consumption. With an increasingly digitalized ecosystem, it helps customers thrive and communities progress while contributing toward protecting the planet. Siemens Smart Infrastructure has its global headquarters in Zug, Switzerland. As of September 30, 2021, the business had around 70,400 employees worldwide.
Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a technology company focused on industry, infrastructure, transport, and healthcare. From more resource-efficient factories, resilient supply chains, and smarter buildings and grids, to cleaner and more comfortable transportation as well as advanced healthcare, the company creates technology with purpose adding real value for customers. By combining the real and the digital worlds, Siemens empowers its customers to transform their industries and markets, helping them to transform the everyday for billions of people. Siemens also owns a majority stake in the publicly listed company Siemens Healthineers, a globally leading medical technology provider shaping the future of healthcare. In addition, Siemens holds a minority stake in Siemens Energy, a global leader in the transmission and generation of electrical power.
In fiscal 2021, which ended on September 30, 2021, the Siemens Group generated revenue of EUR62.3 billion and net income of EUR6.7 billion. As of September 30, 2021, the company had around 303,000 employees worldwide.
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