‘Matchmaking’ process tipped to deliver solutions to sector challenges

CONSTRUCTION Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) has unveiled its i-Con initiative, which is intended to help support the built environment sector during the coronavirus crisis.

Consisting of three key components, i-Con offers an Innovation Challenge Fund, a Knowledge Hub and an Online Learning Platform.

The i-Con Innovation Challenge Fund, managed by CSIC using funding from the Scottish Government through a partnership of the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and potentially other organisations, will be available through an online collaboration portal.

CSIC is asking public and private sector organisations, trade associations and the wider sector to register their challenge on the portal. These challenges will be communicated in a bid to attract industry and academic experts, known as Solution Providers, to step forward with proposed solutions. CSIC said this ‘matchmaking’ process will help build collaboration teams who can access support and expertise, apply to the fund for financial support and co-create solutions.

Stephen Good, CSIC chief executive commented, “We recognise the challenges facing the industry during these extremely testing times. The i-Con initiative offers both support and also opportunities for the industry to collaborate, innovate and rapidly co-create solutions.  We want to encourage those faced with challenges, and those who can offer knowledge and expertise, to come forward and use the platform to contribute a positive legacy for the built environment community and society more widely.

“This collaborative approach, through a unique matchmaking process, will not only help the industry during the current crisis, but could offer a long-term way of working in how we tackle problems faced by industry partners. This aims to improve the health of our workforces, financial stability and security, but also helps to protect the future delivery and operation of the nation’s critical infrastructure, housing and wider built environment assets.”

The i-Con Knowledge Hub and Online Learning Platform also offer a source of support to help the industry find information and navigate available support services. Online events, webinars and training programmes are proposed to offer learning experiences that build resilience and knowledge.

CSIC would like to hear from industry partners and stakeholders who are facing an immediate challenge in the current crisis, and from industry and academic experts who can respond to these challenges. Further details of the programme can be found here.