Fungi-based insulation & automated design tools make the shortlist for COINS Grand Challenge
Ideas to improve the construction industry have flooded in from all over the world for the 2021 COINS Grand Challenge. This global competition organised by COINS aims to encourage innovation and ideas that could improve the built environment or construction industry.
The shortlist has now been announced, with 12 finalists hailing from Sri Lanka, India, Russia, UK, Canada, Indonesia and Zimbabwe.
The challenge has two entry categories, professional (Open Competition) and student (Undergraduate Competition). This year's shortlisted ideas range from innovative insulation materials made from fungi to automated structural design software for timber buildings.
Open Competition finalists are:
• Natalia Mykhaylova (CEO – WeavAir) with a data-driven IoT & predictive software system for improving wellness, safety and energy efficiency during construction & across the building lifecycle.
• Mario Selvaraj (Co-Founder / Head of Product – DAISY) with DAISY, an innovative automated tool for the structural design of timber buildings.
• Valentina Dipietro (Founder – Mykor Ltd) with Mykor, an insulation material grown from forest waste and fungi.
• Kaz Hayat (Managing Director – Trent Energy Limited) with Loadtag, a SMART device that will monitor live loads on formwork during concrete pouring to help prevent overloading and potentially catastrophic failure.
• Igor Stavrulov (CEO & Founder – AMATEC LLC) with a technology for producing building materials from high-density gypsum.
• Alan Gillett (Director – DrillBuddy UK Ltd) with XtraHand, a universal hands-free vacuum attachment which removes dangerous airborne dust particles when drilling holes.
Student Competition finalists are:
• Abhishek Kumar Patra (Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra) with an idea for a bacteria-based concrete utilising limestone-producing bacterial spores.
• Mufaro Gomera (University of the Witwatersrand) with an idea for a platform powered by artificial intelligence that eliminates costly supply chain inefficiencies in procurement, logistics, and back-office activities.
• Chalana Gunathilaka (Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology) with his concept for an automatic inflatable safety jacket.
• Arvianto Nugroho (Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology) with a system to manage energy consumption during construction and operation of a building.
• Roshan Naik (Goa University) with a concept for a reactor system which will convert plastic into energy.
• Rohan Ghosalkar and Deepti Shetty (V.E.S. Institute of Technology, Chembur; National Institute of Design, Kurukshetra, India) with Averto, an IoT-based solution for minimising and mitigating the danger of life-threatening injuries caused by incidents involving falls or collapsing scaffoldings.
Every year the number and quality of entries for the Grand Challenge gets stronger and stronger. It’s great to see the level of interest in new and emerging technology in the construction industry continue to grow. We are very proud to see the challenge go from strength to strength and hope that all the finalists go on to pursue a career in construction whether they win the competition or not.
Robert Brown, CEO, COINS
The 2021 judging panel includes:
Mark Beard / Chairman & Chief Executive – E W Beard (Holdings) Ltd
Susan Jackson / Joint Managing Director – Campion Homes Limited
Stuart Binstock / President and CEO – Construction Financial Management Association
Kevin Lasitz / Senior Partner Development Manager, Microsoft
The COINS Grand Challenge is an opportunity for people to come forward and demonstrate their knowledge and ideas. The construction industry has traditionally been slow to update, modernise and improve its productivity so this is a step in the right direction.
It’s important that there is a link between the ideas and how they could be introduced into the construction industry on a day-today basis.
The COINS Grand Challenge is a chance for people to turn their initial idea into something that is significant, something that could change the way the construction industry works in the future.
Being involved in the COINS Grand Challenge is also a learning opportunity for myself, being exposed to new ideas stretches my thoughts on what is possible in our industry.
Mark Beard, E W Beard (Holdings) Ltd
We will be announcing winners on 30 September. For more details about this competition visit www.coins-grandchallenge.com