The UKGBC Innovation Programme encompasses a multitude of activities designed to enable business to respond to future trends, gain clarity on the problems we need solving in the built environment, and map both new and emerging innovation to these challenges. Through an open innovation approach to problem solving, UKGBC members can work together to respond to key business challenges with innovative and sustainable solutions.
The second phase of UKGBC’s Innovation Programme is ongoing and began with the launch of the Innovation Portal with support from EIT Climate-KIC – an online platform designed to provide an open forum to crowdsource solutions to some of the industry’s biggest challenges. It also provides a platform to connect innovators with investors and match them with companies interested in progressing their innovation.
Anyone can sign-up to the portal to submit a solution. These can be anything from concept-stage innovations to market-ready products and services in response to the challenges as defined by our members. The first set of challenges for the now-closed run were:
- Deconstruction and adaptability: how can we make the most of buildings that already exist?
- Reusing materials: how can we make the most of materials used in existing buildings?
- Retrofit: how can we modernise outdated services with ease?
- Resources and waste: how can we reduce waste associated with construction and refurbishment?
You can find a run-down of the solutions identified through the portal in our digest: Innovation Insights: Embedding a circular economy approach in the built environment.
Watch this space for a new run of challenges for 2019.
The first phase of UKGBC’s Innovation Programme was an Innovation Lab that engaged members in a process of innovation around the challenge “How can we make space as agile as tech?”. The resulting innovation manual is out now and can be found below. An overview of some of the innovative technologies and approaches we discovered along the way can be found here.
UKGBC has the unique convening power to bring together built environment businesses, entrepreneurs, and young innovators to unlock the huge potential for a more innovative approach in our industry. By developing new insights and collaborations, and supporting the creation of sustainable innovations, we can get cutting edge solutions and new business models into buildings and infrastructure much quicker – all critical if we are to radically improve the sustainability of the built environment. Innovation has always played an important part in UKGBC’s work, but in the last year it has become a formal focus, with dedicated programmatic activity.
In phase one – our Innovation Lab – we saw a huge appetite for innovation in the membership, and worked closely with the Lead Partners of the Innovation Lab to develop their knowledge and skills on innovation. Building on the success of our 2017 Innovation Lab, our second phase of work will run for two years starting in April 2018.
The objectives for our 2 year programme are to:
- Provide UKGBC members with an insight into the future trends affecting their business, equipping them for change and a shift to sustainable and innovative solutions.
- Identify, and map innovative solutions to, key built environment challenges.
- Establish new innovation business models and technologies.
- Encourage a culture of open innovation, and establish lasting relationships between corporates and innovators.
- Build the capacity of UKGBC members to innovate, and create the conditions for innovation in their businesses and the sector.
This programme will focus on these 4 areas:
- Futures – insights into the future of the built environment.
- Challenge definition – clarity and consensus on key built environment challenges, and establishment of the UKGBC innovation portal.
- Ideas – gain new ideas from the student community and utilise the UKGBC innovation portal to map existing innovations to identified challenges.
- Collaboration – grow relationships between corporates and start-ups through innovation matchmaking events and mentoring.
Under these 4 areas we will deliver the following:
- Insights into the future of the built environment.
- Establishment of an innovation portal, enabling the digital listing of built environment challenges and innovative solutions.
- Establishment of an annual student hackathon to generate new ideas.
- Delivery of a series of innovation matchmaking events.
- Establishment of corporate/innovator mentoring.