A £7.5 million construction innovation centre is to be established in Scotland to connect industry and academia.
The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre will provide the 31,000-plus businesses involved in the sector with a one-stop shop for accessing a team of academic experts and public support.
Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, the centre is supported by Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and eleven Scottish universities.
Edinburgh Napier University, which developed the bid alongside industry and other university partners, will carry out the administration of the centre.
Ed Monaghan, Chair of Construction Scotland, said, “With construction strongly influencing the quality of the environment in which we all live and work, it is essential that developments taking shape on projects around the country are connected to the academic capability and innovation in our higher education sector as this will ensure an innovative culture pervades our industry.
“This is essential to the future of construction in Scotland as we increasingly respond to stringent sustainability agendas and new market opportunities. Therefore we are delighted with receipt of the funding from the SFC to enable the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre to get off the ground as it is excellent news for us and the industry as a whole.
“We know from our research that the industry wants and needs the Innovation Centre. Exemplar projects such as the delivery of the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village, the M74 completion and the Forth Replacement Crossing demonstrate that collaboration, knowledge exchange and innovation is achievable, but not the norm. The role of the Innovation Centre is to transform that mindset and ensure innovation becomes business-as-usual, creating a sector that is sustainable and one that generates greater economic impact.”
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, “The construction industry underpins all of Scotland’s key sectors and therefore underpins the success of our whole economy. Construction Scotland was established to become the voice of the construction industry here in Scotland. It is particularly pleasing to see their efforts in bringing together the wide variety of professions and trades it represents – as well as academia and the public sector – and there’s no doubt this new Innovation Centre will ensure that everyone involved works ever more collaboratively to achieve our goals and aspirations for the sector.”