Posts tagged: EU

THINKlab partnership project receives €425K funding

THINKLabTHE University of Salford will lead the way in helping to create more energy efficient cities, after receiving a €425,000 grant from the EU.

Buildings waste huge amounts of energy but annually just 1-2% of the building stock of cities is upgraded for efficiency – a process known as retrofitting.

It is estimated that the majority of European building stock will need to retrofit at a rate of 2.9% a year to achieve the target, versus the current 1.2% rate, in order that EU achieve its emission reduction targets by 2050.

However, current retrofitting processes are expensive, and face many uncertainties and complexities. Experts in the School of the Built Environment are partners in a €8.7 million project, and will lead the development of a knowledge-based tool which will select the integrated solutions with highest impact.

The other nineteen industry and academic partners involved in the project are from the UK, Spain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and Estonia. The wider project will explore innovative components, processes and decision making methodologies to guide all value-chain actors in the building renovation process; including a specific knowledge based tool for Real Estate Industry.

Professor Fernando, Director of the School of the Built Environment’s THINKlab and an expert in digital visualisations and simulation, said: “This project offers us further funding to continue our work on designing energy efficient buildings and neighborhoods that we have been doing over the last three years as a part of the Design4Energy project.

“We plan to apply our knowledge in advanced visualisation and collaboration in creating an interactive platform for the stakeholders involved in the retrofit market to create innovative solutions that can not only enhance the energy efficiency of the building but also the value of the property.”

This new technology platform will be built on the THINKlab’s ongoing work on advance data visualisation and building simulation.

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Victoria Barker

0161 295 4779


University launches construction research centre at industry summit

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Professor Arif taking part in a panel discussion, chaired by Prof McDermot

Research and innovation may play an even greater role in supporting industry post Brexit, a leading professor has told the Construction Summit North.

Launching the Centre for Built Environment, Sustainability and Transformation (BEST) at Emirates Old Trafford, Professor Mohammed Arif told 300 industry delegates that the need for research and information was “potentially more fertile” because of the uncertainty over the EU exit.

And the Centre Director invited delegates from the architecture, housing and construction sectors to engage with researchers who were “experienced and industry focused”.

Construction Summit North, organised by the Greater Manchester Chambers of Commerce,  is the largest event of its kind outside London and sponsored by the University of Salford, which chaired a series of sessions.

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Salford experts respond to Brexit announcement

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University experts respond to Brexit result

Dr Cristina Chiva, Lecturer in EU Politics, said: “So far, European leaders have been holding their cards very close to their chest, urging calm and saying very little about what will happen next.

“Silence should not be mistaken for weakness, though. Brexit is an existential threat to the Union, which is why, in the weeks that follow the referendum, the 27 member states are likely to get together and prioritise the survival of the EU over domestic pressures from Eurosceptic movements.

“Calls for similar referenda in other member states will remain unheeded. If anything, European leaders will probably learn a valuable lesson from Brexit – that they should resist calls for a referendum, at all costs. Within this context, it is only by projecting a united front that the EU might survive in its current format, for better or for worse.”

Dr Aleksej Heinze, co-director of the Centre for Digital Business at Salford Business School, said: “Now that Britain has voted to leave the EU, what are the digital business opportunities for the UK’s digital direction? There are a couple of countries beyond Europe that offer potential priorities for digital trade partners.

“The most obvious option is the closer collaboration with the real Silicon Valley in the USA. North America is already dominating Digital Economy around the globe. Forging stronger ties with Mountain View, California could be a safe long-term option. Some US-based organisations such as Google already have their physical base in London.

“In Asia, Bangalore is becoming the Silicon Valley of India. With the population of India predicted to overtake China in the foreseeable future, re-invigorating trade links and striking digital investment and innovation deals could be one of the strategic moves.

“In Africa, Nigeria is investing into its intellectual capital and digital infrastructure. Building trade links and closer digital business relationships with the Nigerian community would also offer a strategic and potentially viable investment of energy for the Europe Free UK.

“As for European digital superpowers, Amsterdam is the 2016 European capital of innovation, so forging closer bilateral links with the Dutch can also be a fruitful long-term digital trade partner.

“As for the rest of European Union Europe, the UK will have to wait and see what the Digital Single Market decision is. A lobby group can be established and in a similar way to big businesses, lobbying can commence to influence the decision from the outside of the negotiation tables.”

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