Since I only had a few minutes to review my RSS feed this morning, I skipped over hundreds of headlines.  But the following words caught my attention: "New federal program helps defray cost of adopting Building Information Modeling."  I thought someone finally got it right in our Congress!  But, alas, when I clicked through the hyperlink, I learned it was a federal program in Canada.

Lessons from the North

The Canadian program.  According to the Daily Commercial News and Construction Record, the National Research Council Canada is providing financial support to qualified small and medium-sized Canadian companies under its industrial research assistance program for BIM investment. Eligible expenses include in-house salaries and consultant costs that cannot be passed on to clients. Up to 75 per cent of project costs can be funded, with a maximum of $50,000.

A spokesperson with the Canadian program confirmed what we all know (i.e., that implementation of BIM is a large investment for some companies).  According to the spokesperson, "They find it difficult, especially in uncertain economic times, to commit to the long-term costs associated with the intense learning process.”

What’s happening in America?  According to a McGraw Hill report last summer, half the industry is behind BIM technology. We also know that over the past couple of years many states like Texas and Wisconsin are requiring BIM on certain public projects.  At the Federal level, GSA has been a leader in implementing BIM technology on a number of projects. 

So, the real question is whether there is going to be some investment dollars to help small businesses make the transition?  Are you aware of any such programs in the United States?

Image: jacob earl