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New innovation fund launched in the UK construction sector

Published by , Editor - Hydrocarbon Engineering
World Cement,

A new innovation fund for the UK construction sector was launched at the Royal Society of Arts in London. According to house building company the Berkeley Group, a sum of approximately £2 million will be delivered through the fund to individuals, businesses and universities that have ideas that could improve how the building industry operates.

Grants of between £250 and £250 000 will be issued between now and 2017 to help people and organisations develop new innovations. In particular, applications will be welcomed from those who are keen to improve safety standards at building sites and the health of the construction workforce. Furthermore, ideas that could aid skills development in the sector may also receive financial support.

The Berkeley Group is keen to address the increasingly complex nature of modern building sites, which are often located in busy cities or on areas of brownfield land. Commenting on the scheme, Rob Perrins, Managing Director of the Berkeley Group, said the industry is also facing pressure due to rising volumes of work: “Companies and staff are running flat out to gear up production and tackle the housing crisis. The industry is having to work with less experienced people, in multiple languages, with plant and equipment in high demand. That generates fresh hazards.”

The Revd. Kevin Fear, CITB’s Strategic Lead for Health and Safety, said: “CITB welcome the £2 million innovation fund being offered by Berkley Homes. It is extremely heartening to see them offering real incentives and encouragement to help improve the culture of health, safety and wellbeing within the construction industry and especially amongst the younger generation and apprentices. With the wider industry, we look forward to Berkley Homes sharing any lessons learned that could help improve conditions for workers onsite.”

Those with ideas of how the construction sector could be improved have now been encouraged to submit bids for funding online. In particular, small and medium-sized enterprises are encouraged to apply for financial support. Click here for more information.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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