£10m innovation fund launched to solve construction industry’s productivity crisis

April 19, 2018 by John Hatcher
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£10m innovation fund launched to solve construction industry’s productivity crisis

A construction industry-first technology accelerator programme called ‘ConstrucTech’ has been launched.
 

Created by Colmore Tang Construction, a £10m innovation fund will be provided to those companies that can successfully show how their innovation and technology could improve the sector’s productivity, sustainability and skills issues.
Colmore Tang has partnered with not-for-profit company Virgin StartUp to deliver ConstrucTech, and is open to applications from start-ups and entrepreneurs around the world.
Virgin StartUp is a leading business support organisation which has run a number of successful accelerators and supported 11,000 entrepreneurs across the UK; through providing of startup loans, mentorship, business advice and access to global business networks. It will use this experience to identify and recruit technology businesses internationally that could meet the innovation gap which has long existed in the construction sector.
Construction in the UK has been slow to embrace innovation and adopt new technology. Over a third of construction projects in the UK overrun on time (40%) or budget (35%)1. It’s believed technology can help fill this void and Colmore Tang has identified a number of key areas within its business, and the industry as a whole, which it believes could benefit from the contribution of enterprising start-ups.
Colmore Tang and Virgin StartUp are therefore calling for businesses to apply to the ConstrucTech programme to address the following problems:

  • People: improving analysis of performance, sharing best practice across building projects, measurement of quality and also implementation of health and safety.
  • Data: using data to pre-empt potential delays, more efficient material ordering, more effective use of labour along with use of performance data to improve cost, timescales and estimates of new projects for future clients.
  • Smart Materials: design and implementation of materials to improve sustainability; improve safety and finding materials which are digitally connected.

Andy Robinson – Group CEO, Colmore Tang, said: ““The debate around technology in construction needs to move forward quickly. Other industries are much better at seeing the potential in technology and grasping opportunities to boost productivity and commercial gain. Construction is falling behind and it’s having a negative impact on the sector, growing the divide between the traditional, ageing workforce and the young, technologically-advanced workforce that is choosing other industries over ours. ConstrucTech will help us discover exciting and innovative start-ups, whose products and services could deliver those technologies and innovations that will be the key to the future success of our business and that of the whole sector.”

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