The UK Government has announced plans to tackle the lack of a coordinated approach to innovation and the limited uptake of research across the UK construction industry.
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) launched an industrial strategy for construction on 2nd July. Titled ‘Construction 2025’, the strategy focuses on key growth markets in three areas: smart technologies, green construction, and overseas trade.
The strategy raises concerns that many construction firms report doing no innovation at all, in part because companies are not confident that innovation will be commercially rewarding.
The government hopes to overcome this view by highlighting funding that is available for innovation (via the TSB’s knowledge transfer networks). BIS also stress that investment in innovation and collaboration between academia and industry are especially important as they are needed for the UK to stay at the forefront in the global shift to green construction. Alongside the launch of the strategy, the government announced an additional Â£3.8m in collaborative research funding for the industry, in the form of two new UK innovation centres funded by EPSRC that will focus on construction: the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction, based at the University of Cambridge, and the Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial Coatings, based at Swansea University.