Three of the largest R&D initiatives in the history of the UK’s construction sector are set to appear together at a trade event for the first time, as the UK Research & Innovation’s Transforming Construction Challenge partners are announced as Lead Innovation Partner at Futurebuild 2020.

Borne out of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Transforming Construction Challenge partners are working with industry to drive change in how we build our buildings, eliminating the productivity gap in the sector.

The Challenge is made up of three organisations – The Construction Innovation Hub, the Active Building Centre and the Transforming Construction Network Plus. Together, these organisations want to ensure we build safer, healthier, more affordable, more energy efficient buildings which deliver better outcomes for those who use them and for wider society.

With a focus on innovation and a theme of ‘moving towards a zero-carbon world’, Futurebuild 2020 will mark the first major industry event supported by all three Transforming Construction partners.

The centrepiece of the partners’ presence at Futurebuild 2020 will be a centrally located Innovation Lounge. With the Challenge offering a range of opportunities for UK-based researchers and businesses, the lounge will provide visitors with the opportunity to meet with experts across the three organisations and find out how they can become involved.

In addition, leading experts from all three organisations including construction sector household names like Sam Stacey, Keith Waller, Dr Ahsan Khan and Professor Jacqueline Glass, will play a central role in panel discussions on both the Arena and Keynote Stages, offering their thoughts and analyses on the challenges and opportunities which we face in 2020 and the years ahead.

Comment from the partners

Speaking about the presence at Futurebuild 2020, Sam Stacey, UKRI Challenge Director for Transforming Construction, said: “Our £170m programme – Transforming Construction: Manufacturing Better Buildings Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) – is a gamechanger for the sector in which up to £250m extra will be matched by industry.

“Futurebuild is a great platform for UK Research and Innovation along with projects to which we have awarded funds, to showcase the very best of new innovations in construction. This a great endeavour to help us to meet the UK’s national infrastructure programme target of £650 billion worth of projects by 2025.

“Also, in keeping with the theme of Future Build 2020, making the transition to a zero carbon world, the challenge will support industry in adopting technologies and help buildings to be constructed 50% faster, 33% cheaper and with half the lifetime carbon emissions.”

Keith Waller, Construction Innovation Hub Programme Director, added: “As the Construction Innovation Hub, we’ve spent the past year mobilising our programme to transform construction. But we know transformation will never progress from ambition to reality unless we take the industry on each step of the journey with us.

“Futurebuild has earned its place as one of the ‘go-to’ events in the construction calendar, with some of the best and brightest innovators in the sector seeking opportunities to turn their innovative ideas into tomorrow’s solutions.

“By joining forces with our Transforming Construction partners, the Active Building Centre and the Transforming Construction Network Plus, as well as our funding provider UKRI, we can use Futurebuild as a platform to speak to industry with one powerful voice, encouraging and supporting the transformation that is so badly needed in our sector.”

Professor Dave Worsley, Principal Investigator at the Active Building Centre, further stated that: “The UK construction industry has a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of both the introduction of modern methods of construction and exciting combinations of technology supporting decarbonisation of the built environment.

“Futurebuild is an exciting opportunity to bring the Active Building Centre and our Transforming Construction partners together with industry innovators, to really start moving on the net zero potential that can already be delivered for our homes, workplaces and infrastructure – an opportunity for research, industry and government to lead this industrial revolution together.”

Summing up, Professor Jacqueline Glass, Transforming Construction Network Plus Principal Investigator, said: ‘’We are delighted to partner with the Construction Innovation Hub and the Active Building Centre for Futurebuild 2020. By combining our efforts to transform the future of UK Construction, we are looking to draw together the very best ideas and practices.

“We want to give visitors a chance to play a part in this wider movement. This is an exciting opportunity for businesses big and small to engage with the Transforming Construction Network Plus and its funded projects.”

To meet the partners behind Transforming Construction and learn about how you can get involved, register for your free ticket to Futurebuild 2020 today:





About Futurebuild

Futurebuild is the built environment event that unites the most forward-thinking companies and organisations with industry mobilisers who hold significant decision-making power and are committed to driving positive change in their sector, and beyond.

As the industry’s catalyst for change, Futurebuild fosters collaboration, knowledge-sharing and innovation to enable the industry to do things differently.

Brands of all sizes from across the built environment attend Futurebuild to meet and share technical innovations and radical new approaches with over 27,000 industry influencers and shapers who visit the event.

At Futurebuild 2020, innovation is elevated beyond a concept and brought to life across the whole event, from the Innovation Trail featuring the most forward-thinking brands, to showcases and features, the Big Innovation Pitch and keynote stages.

Beyond its extensive exhibitor list, visitors are also drawn to Futurebuild for its industry leading knowledge programme which is dedicated to driving change and encouraging innovation through learning. The sessions on the keynote stages will share the latest thinking and research, while the conference will provide an opportunity to discuss and debate the biggest issues facing the built environment from the climate emergency, to the future of digital construction.

By changing one thing, we can change the future.

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About Transforming Construction Challenge

The Transforming Construction Challenge backed by the Sector Deal aims to transform the construction sector – enabling it to produce safe, healthy, efficient building using the latest digital manufacturing techniques. This will enable us to meet the UK’s national infrastructure programme target of £650 billion worth of projects by 2025. The challenge will support industry in adopting technologies and help buildings to be constructed 50% faster, 33% cheaper and with half the lifetime carbon emissions. Government is looking to industry and researchers to innovate in construction, increase productivity across the UK and open up significant global markets for efficient buildings. The Challenge will invest up to £170 million, matched by £250 million from industry, to create new construction processes and techniques, such as the development of standardised modular components from which buildings can be manufactured.

About The Active Building Centre

The Active Building Centre aims to transform the UK construction and energy sectors through the deployment of Active Buildings contributing to more efficient energy use and decarbonisation. Active Buildings integrate renewable energy technologies for heat, power and transport. They are designed to be energy efficient, with novel ways of controlling and releasing energy. These buildings have the potential to be energy self-sufficient and, when connected with other Active Buildings in a network, could have the ability to trade energy. Combining Active Buildings, electric vehicles and solar technology and storage will support the evolving energy infrastructure and accelerate the construction industry towards zero carbon.

About The Construction Innovation Hub

The Construction Innovation Hub was launched in November 2018 and brings together world-class expertise from the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), BRE and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) to transform the UK construction industry. With £72 million from UK Research and Innovation’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Hub aims to change the way buildings and infrastructure are designed, manufactured, integrated and connected within our built environment.

About The Transforming Construction Network Plus

The Transforming Construction Network Plus (N+) is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), an investment supported by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). The N+ brings together experts from a range of disciplines to tackle the most pressing problems across the digital, energy, construction and manufacturing space. The N+ is a joint project between The Bartlett, UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment, Imperial College London and WMG, University of Warwick.

About The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund brings together the UK’s world-leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time. It provides funding and support to UK businesses and researchers, part of the government’s £4.7 billion increase in research and development over the next 4 years. It plays a central role in the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy. It is run by UK Research and Innovation, which comprises the Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

About UK Research and Innovation

UK Research and Innovation works with the government to invest over £7 billion a year in research and innovation by partnering with academia and industry to make the impossible, possible. Through the UK’s nine leading academic and industrial funding councils, we create knowledge with impact.