In order to global acceleration and support in its 2022 program, Vinci Group’s foresight and innovation platform Leonard has chosen tunneling technology disruptor hyper Tunnel.
Comprising robotics, the firm is intending to bring several new technologies to the tunneling sector to decrease risk is one of 44 start-ups selected for this year’s program that purposes to share the firms’ products and services with Vinci Group companies.
Having a significant role in the transformation of the construction sector, the Leonard platform has been running for five years, while according to Vinci, Leonard aims to mirror the creativity of entrepreneurs working within the firm’s areas of expertise.
“We are convinced that technology is one of the necessary levers for transforming the construction, mobility, real estate, and energy industries. In particular, construction tech is enabling us to build at controlled costs, in more sustainable and safe ways. The 44 entrepreneurial projects supported by Leonard in 2022 more generally echo the strengthened commitment of all Vinci business lines to environmental transformation, which once again appears to be a key driver for disseminating innovation within our activities,” stated Leonard managing director Julien Villalongue.
The program involves various elements, such as the Seed program that is for early-stage start-ups to get them off the ground, the Catalyst program, which hyper Tunnel has joined, is for more mature innovators and the Intrapreneurs program backs innovative projects initiated by Vinci’s own staff. There is also an AI stream for artificial intelligence technologies.
According to Hyper Tunnel joint chief executive Steve Jordan’s previous year’s interview with NCE: “Current tunneling technology has reached its physical limits. It’s too expensive, too slow, and still too risky. You can’t turbocharge a TBM [tunnel boring machine]. Something radical is needed.”
Jorden continued: “Our new approach combines expertise and technology from many sources, from opencast mining to 3D printing, using virtual reality (VR), BIM [building information modeling], digital twinning, digital swarming, and artificial intelligence.”
Speaking about the involvement in the Leonard program, hyper Tunnel CEO Richard Matthews said: “This is an exciting opportunity that has come at just the right time. We have big plans for 2022 and beyond as we continue to move rapidly from prototype to full commercial offering. Vinci is particularly interested in reducing the environmental impact of construction and other industries, so there’s a great deal of synergy with what we’re doing. We’re very eager to see what we can achieve together.”
“Hyper Tunnel promises to redefine what is possible in underground construction, improving safety and sustainability, while controlling costs. This is exactly the sort of transformation we want to support,” added Villalongue.