But don’t delay applications need to be in by 19 September.

Some £12.5M has been made available to fund transformative ideas for the construction industry, through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The funding, made available through UK Research and Innovation and delivered through Innovate UK as part of the Industry Strategy Challenge Fund, will be available to companies devising ways of increasing productivity, performance and quality in construction.

The competition has been devised due to the shortage of high-quality housing in the UK and the need for more affordable, energy-efficient and healthier places to live and work. This is creating demand to produce buildings more quickly, safely and with lower emissions.

Construction is traditionally a slow-moving beast, lagging behind other industries and take up of new technologies is slow. This competition will pave the way for a revolution in the construction sector, improving efficiencies in both production and construction.

The £170M government investment, matched by £250M from industry, will create new construction processes and techniques for building manufacture.

This £12.5M funding competition is one element of the programme, which also includes funding for research, a new construction network and the creation of an active building centre and innovation hub. It is a core part of the Construction Sector Deal, which sets out its vision for a future-proofed sector that can provide affordable, energy efficient homes in days or weeks, rather than months, and at a third of the cost.

Tackling the construction lifecycle
The competition is looking for projects that address the three main stages of the construction lifecycle. Specifically, they should focus on how we:

  • design and manage buildings, such as using digitally-enabled performance management systems
  • construct high-quality buildings, taking a manufacturing approach
  • power those buildings, for example, through the use of active energy components

The idea proposed should ultimately lead to cost savings, reduced delays and improvements in collaborations, productivity and outputs.

Delivering the modern Industrial Strategy
To meet the objectives of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, projects must do one or more of the following:

  • encourage the adoption of design approaches that favour pre-manufacturing and assembly
  • increase productivity on construction projects
  • develop scalable methods to speed up construction and provide greater certainty over budget and time
  • develop integrated building components that generate, manage and store energy at lower costs
  • reduce the construction and whole-life costs of built assets
  • improve the whole-life value and safety of built assets, while reducing the carbon impact of that asset

Depending on the length, projects can be for feasibility studies, industrial research or experimental development.

Competition information

  • This competition opens on 23 July 2018, and the deadline for applications is midday on 19 September 2018.
  • A UK business must lead the project, working with other businesses, research, public sector or third sector organisations. At least one SME must be involved
  • The total project costs can be between £25,000 and £500,000 for projects that last six to 12 months, or between £250,000 and £1M if they last 12 to 24 months
  • Funding is available for up to 70% of your project costs.
  • Projects must start by December 2018

More information and applications can be made here.