“Orchestra,” a proposed system of coordinating the many facets of corporate real estate (CRE) developed by a team of students from China’s Tsinghua University, has won the first-ever Academic Challenge presented by CoreNet Global. The student team and the university will each receive $10,000 for winning the challenge.
The goal of Orchestra is to close the gap between the speed of real estate and the speed of business, according to the team’s entry. “We are trying to reduce the days, weeks or months between the realization of the existing need of more space (office space, manufacturing space, storage space, and other types) and its final delivery in form of usable area,” according to the team’s application.
“The gap between the speed of business and the speed of corporate real estate is a persistent challenge in our profession,” said Dean Jordan, Senior Director of Business Development, University & External Relations. “These students took on that challenge and developed an innovative solution that not only impressed the judges, but also demonstrated the potential to be further developed and applied in real world settings.”
Orchestra is a conceptual project extranet software, which would be managed by the CRE department, and operate in real time through the cloud in PC and mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) with several objectives:
- Store standardized information of the various functions of corporate real estate — to compare their compatibility for any specific project
- Control the transfer of information among the stakeholders
- Process the information generated during transactions to provide for more transparent and efficient decisions made by the CRE department
- Integrate the CRE management of the corporation in any city or region around the world into one central control data base that provides real time information as required by the head managers or shareholders
In its entry, the student team said that Orchestra closes the gap by reducing the time required to deliver information and share feedback, storing and providing access to project history, allowing global integration with instant access to worldwide corporate portfolios and creating open spaces where managers, consultants and contractors can see each other and make decisions in a more transparent environment.
CoreNet Global launched the Academic Challenge, which is sponsored by Cushman & Wakefield, earlier this year. Real estate, human resources and technology typically rank among the top three expenditures of most corporations, and corporate real estate executives manage millions (and sometimes billions) of dollars of assets across the globe. The academic challenge is part of CoreNet Global’s strategic priority of strengthening its relationship with academic institutions around the world in order to grow the pipeline of talent into the challenging, rewarding, and often overlooked career of corporate real estate.
In its first year, the competition attracted 78 registered teams from 190 students at 65 universities in 26 countries. CoreNet Global plans to conduct the Academic Challenge yearly. It is open to students interested in creating corporate real estate solutions around the globe.