Construction Scotland Innovation Centre appoints expert advisors



Construction Scotland Innovation CentreThe Construction Scotland Innovation Centre has taken the next major step in its development by appointing ten leading experts to form its Technical Advisory Group, and finalising its collaboration agreement with 12 partner universities.

The Innovation Centre, which was launched in October 2014, brings together industry, academia and the public sector to deliver transformational change in construction. It provides Scotland’s 31,000+ construction businesses with a ‘one-stop shop’ for accessing a team of experts and public support.

The Centre is supported by Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and 12 Scottish university partners.

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is a mix of industry and academic experts that will help the Centre’s Board and Operational Team identify and prioritise key areas to help encourage innovation and achieve economic benefit for Scotland’s construction sector, which currently employs around 170,000 people and is worth over £8.7 billion a year.

The TAG will consist of five themes noted below.  Each theme will be led by individuals with an industry or academic background and will be chaired by Len Bunton, partner at Bunton Consulting Group.

Infrastructure

Industry Lead – Mr Steve Irvine, Laing O’Rourke

Academic Lead - Professor Rod Jones, University of Dundee

Design and Performance

Industry Lead – Mr Matt Bridgestock, John Gilbert Architects

Academic Lead – Professor Richard Laing, Robert Gordon University

Advanced Construction and Building Fabric Technologies

Industry Lead – Mr Andy Outram, Turner Townsend

Academic Lead – Professor Sean Smith, Edinburgh Napier University

Energy and ICT

Industry Lead – Doctor Lori McElroy, Architecture and Design Scotland

Academic Lead – Professor Joe Clarke, University of Strathclyde

Environment

Industry Lead –Mr Richard Allan, The James Hutton Institute

Academic Lead – Professor Gary Pender, Heriot-Watt University

The main goals of the TAG will include reviewing and prioritising project applications; highlighting emerging themes, issues or technological opportunities to the construction industry; and developing plans for the five themes which will bring companies together with relevant government, legislative and academic experts.

CSIC Chief Executive, Stephen Good said: “I am delighted to welcome our Technical Advisory Group leads on board, many of whom are national and international leading experts in their fields. Their passion for change and world class experience will help ensure the Innovation Centre is a success. The appointment of the Group is a significant milestone in the Centre’s development - we now have the funding in place, the industry leadership in place and the academic expertise in place, so it’s an exciting time for the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre.”

Dr Lori McElroy, Industry Lead for Energy and ICT said: “As someone who has spent the last 25 years working to improve the transfer of skills and knowledge from academics to designers and those tasked with delivering the built environment, I am both delighted and excited to be part of this important initiative. I am confident that CSIC has support from the right quarters and to ensure its success, evidenced by the level of commitment from its funders in terms of staffing levels and a focus on the long term objectives of an industry that embraces change. The construction industry can be slow to change, but in my experience, patience and small steps can build significant momentum.”

Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal and vice-chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University said: “The completion of the collaboration agreement is a significant milestone, and allows all 12 universities to start work with the CSIC on a huge array of innovation projects.

“The very best researchers in our universities are excited about partnering with industry colleagues to tackle sector problems, and they recognise how pivotal the Innovation Centre will be in connecting academia and industry. So this is great news for Scotland’s construction sector and the key role it plays in our economy and society.”

The CSIC is also hosting a collaborative networking event with industry and academic partners on Thursday 2 April, 4-7pm at the Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow. This event will be an opportunity for construction professionals to meet members of the CSIC team and discuss the expertise and funding support that is available.

If you are interested in getting involved in the theme groups or for potential project support, contact information is available on the website www.cs-ic.org.