BAM awarded for collaboration with startups across Europe

22 November 2018 15:08 - Royal BAM Group nv
BAM awarded for collaboration with startups across Europe

Brussels, Belgium, 22 November 2018 – Royal BAM Group nv is one of Europe’s most active corporates in terms of open-innovation, according the Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars ranking unveiled today in Brussels at an official ceremony at the presence of EU Vice President Katainen.

Along with BAM, companies awarded among the 24 Open Innovation Challengers are: ABB, ACCIONA S.A., Amazon, Google and Virgin.

This recognition for BAM is due to its procurement from and investment in EU startups, including HARDT Hyperloop and Dutch Analytics, specialists in machine learning and AI solutions for the maintenance industry (see case study below).

The annual ranking is realised as a part of  the European Commission’s Startup Europe Partnership initiative. This year, Jyrki Tapani Katainen, the European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness awarded the companies and provided his insights in a keynote speech. Members of the selection committee, including Constantijn van Oranje-Nassau, Piers Linney, Bindi Karia and Candace Johnson, also attended the ceremony.

Alongside the award ceremony, a new research was published titled ‘The Status of Open Innovation in Europe’. According to the report, there has been an increasing move towards open innovation in recent years, especially in high tech industries where collaboration with startups is key. However, despite a gradual upwards trend in innovation performance, further efforts are needed to ensure Europe's global competitiveness.

‘For BAM, collaboration with startups is crucial to bring out the right skills, disruptive views, speed and creativity to build our future portfolio’, says Céline Bent, BAM’s head of Innovation. ‘We will continue to work with and invest in them to realise our strategy Building the present, creating the future.’

Case study: Dutch Analytics

The Dutch Railway system is one of the most dense railway systems in the world. With a total of 91.3% of trains running on time in 2016 the Netherlands is among the top 3 best performing countries in the world. However, over 3,000 malfunctions have been detected in 2016.

The market was asking for a predictive maintenance solution. This created a need for knowledge and skills related to big data and artificial intelligence, which was not available within BAM at that time. With the help of Dutch business incubator the Venture Generator in YES!Delft we created and invested in a startup, which gave us full flexibility, access to the latest disruptive technology and young technical skilled talent.

Among other things, this startup, Dutch Analytics, accommodates BAM with a solution to predict switch malfunctions in the future. As a result, maintenance engineers are able to foresee future malfunctions of switches. This solution boosts machine uptime of railway assets and reduces operational costs.