Innovation Lab

The Innovation Lab (iLab) is a structured programme of open innovation, bringing industry together to define and solve some of the sectors biggest business challenges and drive systemic change. Through this exciting programme, we engage with innovators, and develop new sustainable innovations to solve real business issues.


December 6, 2016


Research & Innovation




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With the world facing increasing pressures – climate change, resource scarcity, water shortages, the need for new thinking and creative approaches is greater than ever. Despite a strong business case for innovation, take-up is slow in the buildings sector. As an indicator of that, percentage of the value of all new UK construction work in 2015 spent on R&D was only 0.16% – dramatically less than that of other sectors.

The Innovation Lab identifies and addresses the systemic challenges facing businesses within the built environment sector, and co-creates innovative and highly sustainable solutions. It builds on UKGBC’s strong track record of challenging ‘business as usual’, promoting innovative solutions, and fostering collective problem solving and will run in partnership with a consortium of industry-leading organisations.

The programme takes participating organisations on a nine-month journey of business model development – assembling a team, defining a problem worth solving, gaining the insights necessary to turn the problem into a business opportunity, developing these insights into a concept, and developing this into a market-ready product.

Those involved gain a deep insight into the innovation process and its practical implementation; experience being part of an innovation-driven, collaborative culture; generate intelligence on other innovations in the market; and be exposed to many interesting, spin-off ideas that could benefit their business.

“The iLab has provided an environment for us to stretch our thinking about how Carillion and the whole sector can make a meaningful difference to the future of spaces – the way they are planned, constructed, and used – equipping us to better respond to changing customer needs and the challenge of technological advancements. It is a real opportunity to move our thinking further, faster sharing what we know good and bad with UKGBC and the unique set of lead partners that they have been able to bring together. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with talented people from different organisations and see them thrive as one team in the iLab environment.”

Andrew Shapland, Director – Solutions Hub, Carillion Services, Carillion Plc

The Innovation Lab has been developed in collaboration with our delivery partner Switch On. Switch On is leadership consultancy – born from a disruptive innovation agency – dedicated to equipping leaders with everything they need to find and seize opportunities for continuous business breakthroughs that create value and drive impact within the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous, Networked and Stressed (VUCANS) world.


  • canary_wharf_group_plc
  • carillion
  • landsec
  • ms