Up to £12.5 million to increase productivity, performance and quality in construction through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. 

UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £12.5 million for projects to transform how the construction sector delivers new buildings. The funding is provided by UK Research and Innovation and delivered through Innovate UK.

The need to transform

There is a shortage of high-quality housing in the UK and more affordable, energy efficient and healthier places are needed to live and work. This is creating demand to produce buildings more quickly, safely and with lower emissions.

For this to happen there has to be a revolution in the construction sector. Currently it lags behind other industries for productivity – and hasn’t changer much in more than 40 years.

So through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund government is supporting a transformation of UK construction. 

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

This £12.5 million 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’s 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 the third of the cost.

Tackling the construction lifecycle

This competition is looking for projects that address the 3 main stages of the construction lifecycle:

  • 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 approached 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 the asset

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

Competition information

  • this competition opened on 23rd 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 organisation. At least one SME must be involved
  • total project costs can be between £25,000 and £500,000 for projects that last 6 to 12 months, or between £250,000 and £1 million if they last 12 to 24 months
  • you could attract up to 70% of your project costs

To find out more about this competition, please follow the link provided on the right hand side.