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Last edited 25 May 2021
Construction Innovation Hub
On 30 November 2018, Business & Industry Minister Richard Harrington MP announced £72 million Government funding for the Transforming Construction Alliance (TCA) to deliver a national Core Innovation Hub (CIH). The funding followed a nationwide competition as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
The Construction Innovation Hub draws on the expertise of three industry organisations:
- Building Research Establishment (BRE)
- Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB)
- Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC).
CIH is tasked with changing the way buildings and infrastructure are designed, manufactured, integrated and connected in the built environment and – as a catalyst for change – driving collaboration. This, it is hoped will develop, commercialise and promote digital and manufacturing technologies for construction, to build smarter, greener and more efficient buildings.
The hub’s research activities will help understand how the construction industry should change in terms of skills, product standards, capacity and innovation. Combined with an academic programme, it is hoped this will help achieve the security-minded frameworks and rules which will underpin the future digital-built environment and grow UK exports. Working closely with the government’s Transforming Construction challenge programme, and collaborating across construction, a better built environment for future generations can be achieved.
 Emulating other industries
Fundamental to the CIH approach is the recognition that the way buildings are constructed is outdated – a building is typically hand-built, nearly every time to order, using bespoke designs and different supply chains. If the car industry used this model, costs would rise, quality would vary widely and there would be higher running costs and risks to safety and the environment.
CIH maintains that the construction sector needs to transform the way buildings are designed, manufactured, integrated and connected within the built environment in order to create high-performing assets based on digital and advanced manufacturing.
In 2019, the Transforming Construction Alliance became the Construction Innovation Hub, and a new Industry Board was created to ensure key industry decision makers and leaders help to shape its programme of work.
Keith Waller, Programme Director for the Construction Innovation Hub said:
“The Construction Innovation Hub is working with government, academia, the Construction Leadership Council and other industry leaders to develop solutions that can be used across projects and sectors. But I want our programme to go further. I want to ensure key industry decision makers and leaders help shape the Construction Innovation Hub, so it can deliver for industry as well as society at large. Our new Industry Board will help us develop the framework we need, focusing on those outputs that will make a real difference”.
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