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£72m grant for construction innovation hub

3 December 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

The latest construction technology equipment is demonstrated at the MTC

The government has announced its intention to make the UK a world leader in the latest construction techniques, as it pledged a £72m investment in a Core Innovation Hub.

The Core Innovation Hub will support the development and use of technologies such as digital design, advanced manufacturing, robotics, drones and augmented and virtual reality.

Its investment, announced by business and industry secretary Richard Harrington on Friday, follows a nationwide competition as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The Transforming Construction Alliance (TCA) will deliver the national hub. It is a partnership between:

During a visit to the Building Research Establishment (BRE), which is receiving funding, and is part of the Core Innovation Hub, Harrington said: “We have the opportunity to revolutionise construction in the UK and the Core Innovation Hub will help us build smarter, greener and more efficient buildings much faster and cheaper than we do now.

“From the introduction of virtual reality to offsite manufacturing, our modern Industrial Strategy, is helping the UK construction sector to develop new techniques and skills - modernising the sector and delivering the homes and buildings our nation needs.”

BRE director Martin Ganley said, "BRE will provide expertise in the testing and validation of new products, processes, data and assets, and will support the move to digitising construction. It will also provide a leading role in industry engagement and the deployment of demonstrators at the BRE site in Watford."

Professor Andy Neely, pro-vice-chancellor: enterprise and business relations at the University of Cambridge and director of the Centre for Digital Built Britain, said: “CDBB will collaborate widely to deliver a digital programme that will create the framework to underpin the future built environment and grow export opportunities for the UK.”

Matt Gough, Mace’s director of innovation, said: “Earlier this year, the construction sector deal set out the Government’s ambitious plans for the transformation of our industry. The establishment of the Core Innovation Hub is a major step forward on that journey, representing an investment that will help to unlock the huge potential of new technology and approaches in construction. It is now over to us in the private sector to prove that we are ready and willing to work with the Government, the BRE, the MTC and the CBDD to make that vision a reality.”

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