BIM4Ren @ SBS Annual Event on SMEs and The Data Economy

Last September 29th, BIM4Ren attended the annual event held by Small Business Standards (SBS), the European organization that represents SME’s in the standardization community.

This year’s discussion centred around the topic “How can standards support SMEs to benefit from the data economy?”. Building a data economy has become a vital priority for the European Commission, as it is is key to achieve a digital Europe. Data access, management and sharing between different players in the value chain and across sectors offers tremendous potential in the creation of innovative products and services. However, accessing the data economy is still a major challenge for SMEs, especially in the construction sector. In this context, standardisation could play a key role to overcome market barriers.

BIM4Ren can actively contribute to this conversation thanks to the research work that our project is conducting and implementing in our BIM-based tools for the construction sector. Professor Jakob Beetz, from partner RWTH Aachen University, had the opportunity to explain how during the first panel of the event titled “How can standards contribute to a fair access to data?”.

Prof. Jakob Beetz (RWTH Aachen University)

During his intervention, Professor Beetz pin-pointed the basic data-related challenges faced by companies in the construction sector, especially SMEs :

  • The majority of European buildings are not recent
  • Construction relies on very long value-chains
  • There is too often a lack of data
  • The data available is often old, wrong and/or incomplete
  • Too much heterogeneity in data management systems allows little to no interoperability
  • Construction has a real need for digital literacy

The second panel of the day discussed how to ensure cybersecurity without jeopardising the data economy.

This event facilitated a needed discussion among European Institutions, SMEs, standardisation organisations, as well as other key stakeholders, on how standards can help remove the barriers that prevent small players from exploiting the full potential of the data economy or even from being able to trade at all.

You can learn more about BIM4Ren’s work is helping boost a data economy in our different published papers on Linked Data and Common Data Environments, available for download here.

If you want to know how digitalisation can help the construction sector, make sure to  watch our 1st webinar, now available in our YouTube Channel.

For more information about Small Business Standards, visit