Hundreds of companies in Sandwell and the wider Black Country have expressed an interest in the innovative and award-winning West Midlands Virtual Hospital (WMVH), Think Sandwell announces today.
Over 600 local and regional companies have registered their interest for the pioneering 3-D ‘walkthrough’ procurement tool which has been designed to showcase the West Midlands’ supply chain to companies who may commission, specify, engineer, build and operate healthcare facilities in the UK and abroad.
The digital representation of a real-life hospital embedded with a 3D BIM (Building Information Modelling) learning platform was launched by Sandwell Council’s business growth team last year
Local businesses can use it to present their designs, drawings and technical data using easy-to-configure 3D analysis.
Commenting on the registration of the companies, Councillor Paul Moore, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Investment, said: “I am really pleased with the high amount of interest being shown in the West Midlands Virtual Hospital. This is an innovative project that’s giving local and regional businesses the chance to showcase their expertise and generate new business leads here and overseas.”
With a number of construction projects set to commence in the borough – including the £430 million Midlands Metropolitan Hospital – WMVH enables construction companies across the UK to learn about the expertise in Sandwell and procure local talent, from building materials and fabrications through to interior furnishings, clinical equipment and medical technology.
In order to help prepare companies and give them the best chance possible, Sandwell Council is leading efforts to help SMEs adopt BIM in order to meet the 2016 Government targets by providing a range of training initiatives. Throughout the year, Think Sandwell has arranged BIM workshops to boost the skills and BIM capabilities of the region’s supply chain.
Think Sandwell has received recognition from the national construction industry and regional business organisations, winning the Construction News 2015 award for ‘Best BIM Initiative of the Year’, the Innovation category at the Celebrating Construction Excellence Awards West Midlands, and a FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) award for ‘Best SME-friendly public sector procurement’. The initiative was also shortlisted in the 2015 Global Procurement Leaders Awards and Express and Star Business Awards 2015.