Embracing the future today

Driving innovation
for a world in transition

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As we consider what it means to be innovative, we spoke to Professional Futurist, Michell Zappa, and Chief Digital Officer at Royal HaskoningDHV, Daisy Rood, about innovation and what it means for our clients.

Michell Zappa, Professional Futurist:
“Innovation is centred on technologies that can work in
unison with people to maximise our potential.”

What is your view on the evolution of innovation?
What do you think has been the most important trend?

Michell Zappa (MZ): Where once innovations were made every decade, now innovations are being forged on a regular basis. Look at air travel, or renewable energy – we’ve gone from the moment of invention, to state of the art technology within less than 100 years.

The most important trend in innovation has probably been the coming together of ‘man’ and ‘machine’. Years ago we feared technology as a kind of challenge, but now innovation is centred on technologies that can work in unison with us to maximise our potential. A great example of this is Big Data – large amounts of data that can be analysed by computers to reveal patterns and changes.

How will this impact or change companies, and how should they respond?

MZ: This trend of man and machine has significant potential to impact on companies. For instance Big Data allows us to view patterns and changes within the actions of consumers that we can then act on – for example in developing a new product.I believe data, and particularly Big Data, will be the cornerstone of future business models. To ensure success we must understand these new technologies and their potential benefits and pitfalls, so that we can choose the best way to utilise them.

How will Royal HaskoningDHV adapt to these trends and partner with clients to respond to them?

Daisy Rood (DR): We recognise that the world is becoming more data driven. Our clients are becoming more data driven and our clients’ clients are becoming more data driven. We are combining and embracing this change alongside our engineering expertise across our business lines to create Digital Services that help our clients to operate smarter and that enhance society. Our strategy is focused on establishing market leadership, via growth through our existing services as well as through innovation. Customer intimacy is an intricate part of this; we aim to develop our solutions in co-creation with our clients. We see a movement from sheer ‘technical’ challenges to more ‘adaptive’ challenges: we do not always know upfront the exact problem, there’s no linear solution in place and we need innovative thinking to bring multiple solutions. By combining Royal HaskoningDHV’s knowledge with our clients experience, expertise and perspectives, we are able to approach complex challenges differently – because we are well aware that the knowledge of today, is an essential, but not sufficient condition to solve tomorrow’s challenges. We’re all driven by the desire to enhance society and through innovative and digital solutions more impact can be created and more stakeholders can be involved.”

Optimising a safe, comfortable flow and stay of pedestrians within
complex buildings through smart measurement and simulations. Watch how
transfer solutions improve a building’s performance for pedestrians.

Our company’s mission is ‘enhancing society together’;
and digital is one of the ways to achieve this goal.
We’ll co-create this with our clients and partner
with them and other ecosystem partners.

Daisy Rood, Chief Digital Officer at Royal HaskoningDHV:
“Providing intelligence about society in a digital manner
is something that is increasingly acknowledged by clients.
I would like to talk with you about innovative and
digital solutions for your (future) challenges’. 

We have helped our clients to predict and optimise the energy use of their real estate with our Energy Benchmark solution. We can also build this service for other ratings, e.g. flood resiliency. With our transfer solutions we optimise people flows within complex buildings, such as hospitals. We enable our clients to improve both the safety and performance of the people flows in their buildings. Clients like Schiphol and NS are already benefitting from this. Under the working title FastLane we offer digital up-to-date insights on real estate portfolios. We show a choice of scenarios and expected results and costs of possible improvement measures, with a first focus on energy and CO2 reduction. This will significantly accelerate the lead-time from ambition to proven results. It will also shift the emphasis to co-creation and dialogue with clients.

Contact us to find out more about FastLane and Energy Benchmark

What added value can clients get and expect from Royal HaskoningDHV to benefit from these trends?

DR: We look to add value by offering data driven digital services to help our clients directly. An example: Aquasuite software monitors and controls water flows. It optimises water supply and predicts water demand. More than 80% of the drinking water in the Netherlands is controlled and monitored by Aquasuite, which helps our clients reduce water leakage, less energy consumption, improved operation stability, better water quality and less wear and tear of the equipment.


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A solution for less leakage, lower costs, less energy, higher water
quality and higher customer satisfaction. View how Aquasuite®,
an advanced monitoring and control software platform,
suits all smart water needs.

Read more about how we co-create with partners,
such as start-ups and universities.


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