The construction industry continues to be a hotbed of patent 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, AI and robotics. In the last three years alone, there have been over 425,000 patents filed and granted in the construction industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in construction: modular scaffolding system. Buy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

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 stabilizing 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 232,000 patents, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, self-healing concrete, waterproof floor drains, and construction 3D printing are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Smart glazing, regeneration control hydraulics, and floating breakwaters are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are wall surface temperature controls and embossed floor panels, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the construction industry

Modular scaffolding system is a key innovation area in construction

Modular scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support access or working platforms. The scaffolding is formed of standardized components, or modules, that can be easily assembled and disassembled. These modules consist of frames, braces, guardrails, platforms and ladders that are linked by coupling devices and pins to construct the required scaffold geometry. Modular scaffolding systems provide flexibility to reconfigure scaffolding layouts as needed, and allow for easy transportation and storage.

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 290+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of modular scaffolding system.

Key players in modular scaffolding system – a disruptive innovation in the construction industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to modular scaffolding system

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
China State Construction Engineering 188 Unlock Company Profile
China Railway Group 47 Unlock Company Profile
State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council 35 Unlock Company Profile
Air Liquide 33 Unlock Company Profile
Brand Industrial Services 30 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid Corporation of China 25 Unlock Company Profile
China Communications Construction Group 24 Unlock Company Profile
The First Company of China Eighth Engineering Bureau 21 Unlock Company Profile
Power Construction Corporation of China 16 Unlock Company Profile
Alinco 15 Unlock Company Profile
ConXtech 15 Unlock Company Profile
Teletower Com 15 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 14 Unlock Company Profile
Metallurgical Corporation of China 13 Unlock Company Profile
Suzhou Gold Mantis Construction Decoration 13 Unlock Company Profile
China Southern Power Grid 11 Unlock Company Profile
Safe Rack 11 Unlock Company Profile
Wuxi Longhaijie Machinery Manufacturing 11 Unlock Company Profile
Zhongru Investment 10 Unlock Company Profile
Layher W Verwaltungs 9 Unlock Company Profile
China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Group 9 Unlock Company Profile
Kee Safety 8 Unlock Company Profile
Sam Carbis Asset Management 7 Unlock Company Profile
Wilhelm Layher 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nantong Sijian Construction Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid Xin Yuan 5 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Construction Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
China Third Metallurgical Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
China National Chemical Engineering Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Jiangsu Suzhong Construction Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
China Shanxi Sijian Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Steel 5 Unlock Company Profile
TUBESCA-COMABI 5 Unlock Company Profile
Comet II 4 Unlock Company Profile
China Railway First Group 4 Unlock Company Profile
China Construction First Bureau (Group) 4 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Tunnel Engineering 4 Unlock Company Profile
KRAUSE-Werk 4 Unlock Company Profile
Xi'An Dingzi Electronic Information Science & Technology 4 Unlock Company Profile
CCCC-SHEC Third Highway Engineering 3 Unlock Company Profile
Yunnan Construction Investment 3 Unlock Company Profile
China Communication South Road & Bridge 3 Unlock Company Profile
China Metallurgical Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
Shanxi Industrial Equipment Installation Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
Sinohydro Bureau 3 3 Unlock Company Profile
China Construction Second Bureau Installation Engineering 3 Unlock Company Profile
China Three Gorges 3 Unlock Company Profile
Sinohydro Bureau 9 3 Unlock Company Profile
Tianjin No.2 Construction Engineering 3 Unlock Company Profile
China Construction Fifth Engineering Bureau 3 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

China State Construction Engineering (CSCEC), a provider of engineering, building construction and contracting services, is one of the leading patent filers in modular scaffolding systems. One of the key innovations by the company is the development of a mobile intelligent building construction load-bearing platform, which is equipped with a support chassis at the bottom and a protective assembly with a protective fence. The top of the support chassis is equipped with a lifting and adjusting mechanism and an intelligent transmission mechanism. A rotating shaft, located on both sides of the top of the support chassis, increases the load-bearing capacity of the structure, and allows construction materials on the top of the platform to be pushed away together conveniently and quickly.

In terms of application diversity, leading innovators in the development of modular scaffolding systems include SafeRack, a manufacturer of industrial safety products and fall protection systems, and Boeing, a designer, developer, and manufacturer of commercial and military aircraft.

By means of geographic reach, leading companies in the space include ConXtech, Layher W Verwaltungs, and Brand Industrial Services.

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

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.