The construction industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by an increased focus on environmental sustainability and workplace safety, and the growing importance of technologies such as the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and robotics as well as higher quality construction products and materials. In the last three years alone, there have been over 248,000 patents filed and granted in the construction industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Construction: Electric vehicle battery management.  Buy the report here.

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity. 

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have. 

80+ innovations will shape the construction industry 

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the construction industry using innovation intensity models built on over 179,000 patents, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Within the emerging innovation stage, mullion-transom curtain walls are a disruptive technology that is in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Heat insulated glazing panels, drainage gully grating, and acoustic ceiling panels are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are abrasion-resistant decorative flooring, and road construction milling tool, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the construction industry 

Electric vehicle battery management is a key innovation area in construction 

A battery management system (BMS) monitors and manages the rechargeable battery system with the aim of ensuring  

safe operation of the battery, efficient use of power and maintaining longevity. The system, for example, will prevent the battery from overcharging. 

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of electric vehicle battery management. 

Key players in electric vehicle battery management – a disruptive innovation in the construction industry  

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to electric vehicle battery management

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Hitachi 224 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Heavy Industries 127 Unlock Company Profile
Komatsu 69 Unlock Company Profile
Kobe Steel 43 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 32 Unlock Company Profile
Liebherr-International 20 Unlock Company Profile
Kubota 13 Unlock Company Profile
AB Volvo 10 Unlock Company Profile
KYB 7 Unlock Company Profile
Doosan Infracore 6 Unlock Company Profile
Kohler 5 Unlock Company Profile
J C Bamford Excavators 5 Unlock Company Profile
SNCF Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Yanmar Holdings 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Hitachi is the leading filer in battery management systems. The company is one of the world leaders in technical manufacturing and system management software. The majority of Hitachi’s battery management system patents used within the construction industry are used to manage the efficiency of a lithium-Ion battery in hybrid excavators. One notable patent prevents the battery from over-charging when power is re-generated by the engine. Another such patent uses a cooling system to regulate the battery temperature, with the aim of extending the batteries’ working life. 

In terms of application diversity, Kubota is among the leaders in the pack, along with Liebherr-International. By means of geographic reach, KYB holds the top position, followed by Yanmar Holdings and SNCF Group. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the construction industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Construction. 

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.  

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.