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BICSc and CSSA Launch ‘The Future of Cleaning’ Initiative

BICSc and CSSA Launch ‘The Future of Cleaning’ Initiative
31 January 2024

In partnership with the University of Surrey, the British Institute of Cleaning Science and the Cleaning and Support Services Association will embark on a new study on the impact of technology in the cleaning sector.

The collaboration marks an industry first for the associations, which will examine the impact of machinery, IoT sensors, robotics, and data collectors on the actual process of cleaning. 

Supply partners supporting the project include Birkin Group, Infogrid, SoftBank Robotics UK Ltd., ICE, Kärcher UK, Numatic International, Killis Robotics, TASKI – The Ultimate Cleaning Machines, Orion Eco Solutions and Safer Space Limited.

The study will also involve Ellis Foy, Head of FM at the University of Surrey and the wider university campus team. 

British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) Group Managing Director, Neil Spencer-Cook, said: “The revolutionary research will explore the benefits of using automation in terms of productivity, cleanliness and hygiene. We want to understand what differences in training needs will be required when introducing these technologies to the cleaning community.

“Denise Hanson, BICSc Commercial Director, who is an expert in technical cleaning, and Dr Andrew Kemp, alongside the BICSc Scientific Advisory Board, will be heavily involved in the ongoing research project.”

“This is an industry first, a ground-breaking collaboration on the future of cleaning. It will be fascinating to see the results as within the industry there are so many differing opinions on the effectiveness of robotics, which I see as a good thing. This study will hopefully prove the value robotics and technology can have within the cleaning community. 

“The cleaning industry is slow in its take up of technology and this study will hopefully help shine a spotlight on the benefits that technology can bring to the industry. This is the first study of its kind bringing together our industry leading organisations and the aim ultimately is to prove that technology and robotics can make the cleaning industry more efficient and as effective, if not more, than it currently is.”


Productivity Gains When Using Automation in Cleaning


Paul Ashton, Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA) Chair, added: “The CSSA is passionate about the future of cleaning. Our objective is to understand how the latest technology and innovation, such as IoT sensors and robotics are impacting on cleaning regimes in real terms. We intend to answer key questions including: what are realistic productivity gains when using automation and how does the tech impact on best practice guidelines?

“Robust testing will be conducted under the guidance of Dr Andrew Kemp, Head of BICSc Scientific Advisory Board, so we can be reassured that there will be validated data collected to drive tangible outcomes. This is a real milestone for our industry as we see two leading forces in our industry collaborate to create genuine impact in an area that is gaining more and more focus.”

Picture: a photograph of BICSc National Chair, Soo Bartholomew. Image Credit: BICSc

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 31 January 2024


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