Construction ‘Innovation Factory’ launches with major industry event

CSIC SiteHundreds of delegates were among the first to see Construction Scotland Innovation Centre’s pioneering new £2 million Innovation Factory as it launched today with a major industry event.

Located at Hamilton International Technology Park in South Lanarkshire and supported by Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise, the factory will allow anyone in the construction industry to access 35,000 sq. ft. of workshop space fitted out with state-of-the-art production and prototyping equipment and technology.

Construction businesses of all sizes can use the facility to test and develop new products, processes, systems and solutions, from early stage ideas through to commercial realisation. The building will also provide a range of collaboration and training facilities to allow organisations in the private, public and academic sectors to share knowledge and information.

The workshop space and equipment will also be used for training purposes, allowing the industry to attract and develop fresh talent and build new skills using the latest virtual reality and drone technology, automated manufacturing equipment and advanced robotics as part of a move towards greater productivity.

Today’s launch event brought together over 300 construction professionals for a series of industry-leading speakers, interactive workshops and demonstrations, all taking place within the new Innovation Factory itself.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Andrew Wolstenholme OBE,CEO of Crossrail and co-chair UK Construction Leadership Council

  • David Philp, Global BIM/IM consultancy director, AECOM, and chair of the Scottish BIM Delivery Group
  • Chris Shaw,associate development director of renowned regeneration company Urban Splash
  • Delegates will also attend a series of “Hack Workshops”, exploring topics such as “What if construction adopted a more entrepreneurial mindset?” and “What if schools taught the skills your workforce needs?”

    CSIC SiteStephen Good, chief executive of Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, said: “Opening the Innovation Factory today is a proud moment for the CSIC team, one that we have been working hard towards since we launched the Innovation Centre nearly three years ago. I’ve watched this facility grow from the seed of an industry idea into reality, and it is brilliant to see it open its doors today to so many enthusiastic people. The relevance of the facility has already been confirmed with companies registering their interest in using it months before we were even ready to open.

    “Today’s event, which is taking place within the workshop space itself, is a fantastic showcase for the facility and industry’s desire to collaborate and create opportunities for the future. Demand was so high that we ran out of tickets weeks ago and we know that once the delegates see what’s on offer here, they will be out there telling their colleagues and partners across the Scottish construction industry all about it.”

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The opening of CSIC’s Innovation Factory, the only facility of its kind in the UK, will offer businesses across the country access to cutting edge technology and a state-of-the-art facility.

    “Of course, it’s not just companies who can take advantage of the Innovation Factory. Housing associations, councils, Transport Scotland and the NHS have all worked with the Innovation Centre since it was established in 2014.

    “We want to see more collaboration in the future, across the public and private sector, and I would encourage everyone to get involved and make the most of the Innovation Factory.”

    Andrew Wolstenholme OBE said: “As chief executive one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK, it is my belief that this country needs to become smarter and better at delivering construction. We need to improve our productivity to deliver better, more certain outcomes by using digital technologies and increasing the proportion of offsite manufacturing. That’s why I’m delighted to be at today’s launch of CSIC’s wonderful Innovation Factory, which will be focusing on areas like offsite and digitisation, to help Scotland’s construction businesses drive a much-needed transformation in our industry.”

    David Philp added: “These are exciting times for the construction industry, with the dynamics and behaviours of both client and supply chain organisations becoming more collaborative, technologically advanced and outcome-based. A momentum is building in the convergence of these themes, unlocking a new wave of innovation in an ever modernised sector.

    “The SFT Building Information Modelling (BIM) Delivery Group is supporting the Scottish Government in meeting its objectives for a move towards a digital built environment, with BIM featuring as a key part for the future of the Scottish construction industry.

    “The Innovation Factory is a fantastic facility which will play a huge part in helping Scotland’s construction organisations to innovate, collaborate, learn and adopt high-value advanced manufacturing processes. Having the factory open is a massive boost for the industry.”

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