CSIC launches new initiative launches support industry during COVID-19 crisis

Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) has launched its i-Con initiative in a bid to support the built environment sector during the current global coronavirus crisis. 

Consisting of three key components, i-Con offers an Innovation Challenge Fund, a Knowledge Hub and an Online Learning Platform. This is designed to match those faced with current challenges, with those in industry and academia who can offer rapid, impact-focused solutions in a bid to build resilience for a brighter future through innovation.

The i-Con Innovation Challenge Fund, managed by CSIC using funding from the Scottish Government through a partnership of the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise and potentially other organisations, will be available to the sector through an online collaboration portal.

Lucy Black, director of innovation and engagement

CSIC is asking public and private sector organisations, trade associations and the wider construction sector, who are impacted by the current crisis, to register their challenge on the portal. These challenges will be widely communicated in a bid to attract industry and academic experts, known as Solution Providers, to step forward with proposed solutions. This matchmaking process will help to build collaboration teams who can access support and expertise, apply to the fund for financial support and co-create solutions.

Stephen Good, CSIC chief executive, said: “We recognise the challenges facing the industry during these extremely testing times. The i-Con initiative offers both support and also opportunities for the industry to collaborate, innovate and rapidly co-create solutions.  We want to encourage those faced with challenges, and those who can offer knowledge and expertise, to come forward and use the platform to contribute a positive legacy for the built environment community and society more widely. 

“This collaborative approach, through a unique matchmaking process, will not only help the industry during the current crisis, but could offer a long-term way of working in how we tackle problems faced by industry partners. This aims to improve the health of our workforces, financial stability and security, but also helps to protect the future delivery and operation of the nation’s critical infrastructure, housing and wider built environment assets.”

Douglas Morrison, director of operations and future skills

The i-Con Knowledge Hub and Online Learning Platform also offer a vital source of support designed to help the built environment community find relevant information and navigate the range of support services available to the sector. A range of online events, webinars and training programmes will offer rich learning experiences that build resilience and knowledge across the sector.

CSIC would like to hear from industry partners and stakeholders who are facing an immediate challenge in the current crisis, and from industry and academic experts who can respond to these challenges. Further details of the programme can be found here.

  • Read all of our articles relating to COVID-19 here.

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