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London-based construction and technology start-up XYZ Reality and UCL have been awarded a Government grant to help with the development of XYZ Reality’s augmented reality solution and introduce it into the construction of UK hospitals.

The grant has been awarded by UKRI through an Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). Founded in 2017, XYZ Reality developed Engineering-Grade AR to tackle some of the most pervasive and costly issues facing the construction industry. Its technology uniquely enables users to view hyperscale BIM models on-site in real-time and to millimetre accuracy, making it particularly beneficial for projects with complex MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) services, such as hospitals or data centres.

Accuracy and efficacy savings have been strongly evidenced via hyperscale date centre adoption, and the construction sector benefits through technology enabled transformation and are expected to be phenomenal locally, nationally and internationally.

In 2019, the UK Government announced the Hospital Infrastructure Plan, a programme set to take place over five years which will see an investment in health infrastructure, including building 40 new hospitals. These will deliver new world-class facilities that will meet the changing needs and rising demands facing the NHS. The programme relies on innovation being successful and, in particular, the adoption of new technology in both design and build, as current approaches are time-consuming, ineffective, costly and out of date.

This KTP will be delivered in partnership with UCL’s world-leading Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction and Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), with support from UCL Innovation & Enterprise. It will examine how Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality (AR) can help to bring infamously complex construction projects in on time and on budget, using hospitals as case studies. Case studies will feed into XYZ Reality’s overarching aim to enable transformation in the construction sector through the demonstration of benefits, such as improving productivity and efficiency, reducing waste and developing sustainable approaches.

Dr Grant Mills, Faculty Lead for Health and Associate Professor at UCL, said: “Hospitals are complex construction environments because of the sheer range of MEP services involved. This often leads to clashes and errors in the build phase, and the need for expensive and time-consuming re-work.”

Prof Duncan Wilson, Professor of Connected Environments in UCL Bartlett CASA, added: “This KTP grant offers us an important opportunity to understand how AR can help different users interact digitally with the environment in novel ways, and by doing so improve productivity, and deliver time and cost savings.”

XYZ Reality’s founder and CEO David Mitchell said: “We’re thrilled to have been selected for the KTP grant and delighted at partnering with UCL on this project. Our Engineering- Grade AR technology is already being deployed on construction projects with the same levels of complexity as hospital builds, and I’m pleased to say that it is generating significant time and cost savings.”

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