Birds eye view of a construction site

Background

Hypervine Ltd is a Glasgow-based company that focuses on digitising infrastructure to enable construction, engineering and facilities management companies to improve transparency, compliance, consistency, health & safety, recording and reporting; leading to direct and indirect cost savings while improving compliance and quality.

The company is developing a powerful, custom-built single comprehensive, secure and unalterable blockchain platform for the construction, engineering and maintenance sectors with smart contract functionality and analytical tools for more accurate asset and infrastructure management.

 

Challenge

Following a series of industry scandals that highlighted the need for strong audit trails for building work undertaken, Hypervine was looking for an academic partner to  investigate the use of distributed ledger technologies to trace the completion of work in the construction sector and manage compliance events.

 

Solution

Ruth Oliver, Business Engagement Executive at Interface, successfully matched Paul Duddy, CEO and founder of Hypervine, with Professor Bill Buchanan and Liam Bell at Edinburgh Napier University’s School of Computing. The Blockpass Identity Lab at the University’s Merchiston campus uses cutting-edge blockchain research to drive innovation.

Ruth said: “Hypervine Ltd and Edinburgh Napier University’s (ENU) School of Computing were a natural fit:  Professor Bill Buchanan is one of the world’s leading lights in blockchain technology and, with researcher Liam Bell, offers a wealth of experience in supporting businesses and organisations in the practical application of this technology. 

Hypervine is helping construction companies build faster, safer, and more cost efficiently by digitising the industry. Exploring how to incorporate secure methods of recording data in complicated supply chains and transactions is a key element of this. Partnerships with academia can propel companies onto the next stage of their development, enabling them to enter new markets, win additional contracts, and grow their business.”

Professor Buchanan, Director of the Blockpass Identity Lab, said: “The nature of the construction industry is that there are many stakeholders involved and, making sure that each part of the process is working as it should, can be difficult. A blockchain solution will aim to integrate digital signing into the key parts of the process.”

Liam Bell, who was the lead blockchain researcher in the lab, said: “The application of blockchain into the construction industry – where strong levels of trust in the process are required – is a natural one.”

The collaboration was supported by the Scottish Funding Council’s Innovation Voucher scheme, which Interface administers.

 

Benefits

Company – As a result of this collaboration, and the ensuing product, Hypervine has experienced improvements in the supply chain, new and improved products, increased productivity, and job creation, as well as the safe-guarding of existing jobs.

 

Industry - This collaboration has resulted in an innovative product research that has significant potential to disrupt the construction sector and improve safety records both in the UK and internationally, where there have been a number of disasters caused by improper construction .  Avoidable errors are costing the UK construction industry £21bn per year.  Through blockchain and smart contract integration, the industry can save time and money making the it more efficient while freeing up finance.

 

Follow-On Activity

In February 2020, Hypervine announced its latest contract, working with the European Space Agency to develop services for the global mining community.

Mining companies have to constantly adapt to ever-changing economic, environmental and governmental policies making easily accessible, high quality and up-to-date data vital. Obtaining the right information with the highest degree of accountability often takes months. Numerous surveys have to be cross-checked and compared on paper alongside satellite-sourced data, by multiple teams in different locations. Through the implementation of Hypervine’s technology, data for mining teams and their subsidiaries is clearly recorded on an unalterable ledger, removing the risk of small changes being magnified down a chain, resulting in potentially catastrophic yet avoidable dangers and miscalculations. 

 

*A blockchain is a growing list of records or blocks, secured using cryptography and resistant to modification; technology which can reduce the risk of problems like documents being lost or actions not followed up.