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How Ottawa-based Giatec connects concrete to the Internet of Things #IoT

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by: Hans van der Broek
How Ottawa-based Giatec connects concrete to the Internet of Things #IoT

Techopia Live dealt with some dense topics this week – literally – as Giatec founder Aali Alizadeh joined us to talk about how the company is hoping to “revolutionize the concrete industry.”

The Ottawa-based firm develops sensors that can analyze the structural integrity of concrete structures, detecting cracks before they lead to collapse. Its smart concrete sensors are embedded into structures as they’re built, communicating this data to the mobile phones of operators, engineers, owners and other decision-makers as to what course of action is appropriate – before it’s too late.

“The idea of smart concrete is more than that. We want to make jobsites more connected, structures smart. All the contractors, operators, owners, engineers, even people who are living in the structures can get information about what’s happening in the structure at different stages in the structure’s lifecycle,” Alizadeh told Techopia Live.

As excited as he is about the potential to disrupt the construction industry, Alizadeh says he’s learned tough lessons about moving too quickly in an industry built on stability. Strict rules as to how structures can be built slows down the adoption of new technologies until a building authority can approve it.

“It’s kind of like the medical industry, everything is regulated … If there is an innovation, it is not adopted right away.”

Alizadeh decided early on that if Giatec was going to make its mark in concrete, it had to work within the established foundations of the sector.

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Hans van der Broek , founder Founder and CEO of WhatsOrb, world traveller, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Hans has countless ideas and has set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. He also has an opinion on everything and unlimited thoughts about how to create a better world. He likes hiking and has climbed numerous five-thousanders (mountain summits of at least 5000m or 16,404 feet in elevation)  
Hans van der Broek , founder Founder and CEO of WhatsOrb, world traveller, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Hans has countless ideas and has set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. He also has an opinion on everything and unlimited thoughts about how to create a better world. He likes hiking and has climbed numerous five-thousanders (mountain summits of at least 5000m or 16,404 feet in elevation)  
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