“Innovative infrastructure solutions” was the theme presented on the 101º edition of the International Infrastructure Conference, promoted by FIDIC, International Federation of Consulting Engineers. The conference begun on 29th september an It’s being held at Royal Tulip Hotel, in Rio de Janeiro city, Brazil.
The conference was supported by ABCE, Brazilian Assotiation of Consultant Engineers, that represents more than one hundred companies. Around 650 people, from 70 countries, such as engineers, industry leaders, clients and finantial institutions, were welcomed for the three days conference and its parallel events, such as exibition an network area, city tours and social dinners.
The opening cerimony was host by Pablo Bueno, FIDIC president, and by Mauro Viegas, ABCE president. Júlio Cesar Bueno, Secretary of economic Development, Energy, Industry and Services for the State of Rio de Janeiro, and the engineer César Borges, Minister of Ports, were the invited guests.
Bueno began his presentation by annoucing that this edition has a new plenary format, with a variety of important international speakers. The main topic was the importance of proper and innovative solutions , to ensure global quality of life. To expose that, he showed the statistics of the growth demand for infrastructure, and mentioned billion people with no acess to eletricity, basic sanitation service and clean water supply. Due to the limited finantial resources, it is necessary to support projects from the government and the society, to promote quality of life, operation/maintenance optimization and cost and risks redutions.
Mauro Viegas continued the theme, by enhancing the need to valoing the consultive engineering role, and to improve the process for the sustainable development by efficient solutions, new resources and new recruitment methods, and impact redutions.
Focusing on the characteristics of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Secretary of Economic Development Julio Bueno draws attention to the major economic challenges of Brazil: the oil and the pre-salt. According to these forecast, the production of oil will be doubled by 2020 and tripled by 2035. The engineer and Minister for Ports César Borges said that the enterprises need the participation of consulting engineering to ensure good projects, from diagnosis of needs and interferences to final execution. According to the Minister, public invenstiments in Brazil are not enough and the country have been using private and public-private partnerships, in order to ensure attractiveness projects.
Luciano Coutinho, President of BNDES (The Brazilina Development Banck), was the keynote speaker ot the plenary named ‘’Brazil in the National and Global Market”. The others speakers were Debora Wetzel, from World Bank, Antonio Sosa, corporate VP of Infrastructure, CAF (Development Bank of Latin America), and Nestor Rosa, chief of Transport Division, IADB (Inter American Development Bank). The importance of private participation in infrastructure was shown again. Debora Wetzel said that the integration of the markets is needed. Antonio Sosa spoke about the infrastructure as a tool to development, but it alone does not promote any development. To achieve that, it is necessary to promote innovation, business vision, productivity and knowlodge. He also presented some of the main projects of Development Bank of Latin America, such as UMO25, GeoSUR, GeoPOLIS and IDEAL report. Sustainable infrastructure and safe transportation, to promote regional integration, were the main topics presented by Nestor Sosa.
Luciano compared the annual growth rates between advanced economies and emerging markets, showing the growth of developing nations. Luciano also presented BNDES’ increasing investments and contributions to brazilian development and the forecast for the next few years for industry, housing, agriculture, services and infrastructure, such as eletricity, telecommunications, highways, ports and airports.
The second plenary was named “Rethinking Infrastructutre’’ and was focused on cities development . Denise Hamu, president of UNEB (United Nations Environmental Programme) spoke about the reasons why UNEP focus on cities, its strategic importance, global iniciatives for resources, assisting cities, linking partners, coordinating and supporting development of clear goals and tasks, and how to provide acess to expertise. In addition, acoording to presented surveys, major of the cities are aware of the environmental risks. Torsten Kleiss, Senior Strategy Manager at Simens AG discussed about how cities need to provide space to live, work and enjoy; and the basic needs of citizens, such as t, life quality, security and clean environment. He lighlighted that infrastruscture is the key for cities competitiveness and how automation can provide reliable power supply, meet increasing demands and improve comfort while reducing energy consuption and costs. Also discussing about the energy sector, Fernando Pinto Dias Perrone, Manager of the Energy Efficiency Projects Department from Eletrobras, presented the new scenario of its transformation, energy efficiency policy and the challenges for the sustainability of cities, such as efficient buildings and urban infrastructure and redution of emissions. Osvaldo Pedrosa, president of Pre-sal Petroleo, in Brazil, presented Brazil’s huge potential to new discoveries (88% of ultimately recoverable resources remain to be produced) and the new production sharing regime. He also spoke about deepwater pre-salt being a very attrative business and the most complex projects in the O&G industry.
New professionals in the industry, professional development, innovative improvements by capacitation and personal interactions were the main topics of the last part of the conference.
André Lima Cordeiro, executive manager of CENPES (Petrobras Research Center), presented the growth, investment in resources and technological strategies and challenges. Mandana Cont, consultant engineer from Iran, presented her survey “Women in Engineering”, highlighting the growth of women in engineering and their participation in the local and global industry. However, in all countries, it was observed that gender discrimination in employment, position and salaries. The statistc that less than 10% of women are in management positions were given as an example.
Jakub Bialachowski, Member of the Board at B-Act, from Poland, and Joost Merema, from Pro6 Managers, from Netherlands, both presented new working relations, focusing on people and quality. According to them, providing as inspiring working environmental and working with an integrated team are the key to spark creativity and improve performance. Jakub says that, in order to ensure positive changes, it is necessary to optimize our time. He shows new working options, such as flexibility, remote work, part-time job (especially for mothers) and coworking, promote improvments, but need a culture change. Joost says that engineering work with government and society, focusing on quality and price, and combining technology, knowledge, and adding value to the projects. He finishes his presentation by proposing some questions to the participants, to make them think of the key factors on sucessful projects: how do we work together? How do we communicate? How are we able to share our goals?
FIDIC was found in 1913, in Switzerland, and promote and implement strategics goals of consultive engineering industry.