Fund to support hi-tech construction companies
ANEW £10 million innovation fund and programme has been launched to support construction companies that show how their technology can improve the sector’s productivity, sustainability and skills.
Called ConstrucTech, it has been launched by business support organisation Virgin StartUp with Birmingham-based construction group Colmore Tang.
It is aimed at helping start-up companies and entrepreneurs and is said to be the first time Virgin StartUp has partnered with a company outside of the Virgin Group on one of its business grammes.
Virgin StartUp said construction in the UK had been slow to embrace innovation and adopt new technology with more than a third of construction projects overrun on time or budget. It will use this initiative to identify and recruit technology businesses internationally that could meet the innovation gap in fields such as sharing best practice across projects, using data to pre-empt potential delays and designing materials to improve sustainability.
Andy Robinson, group chief executive of Colmore Tang, said: “The debate around technology in construction needs to move forward quickly.
“Other industries are much better accelerator pro- at seeing the potential in technology and grasping opportunities to boost productivity and commercial gain.
“Construction is falling behind and it’s having a negative impact on the sector, growing the divide between the traditional, ageing workforce and the young, technologically-advanced workforce that is choosing other industries over ours.”
Sir Tom Shebbeare, chairman of Virgin StartUp, added: “Entrepreneurs have the power to positively disrupt whole sectors.
“Every day we support inspiring and innovative start-ups and help them to take their product or service to market. ConstrucTech is an important programme for start-ups that want to access opportunities within the construction sector.”
> Andy Robinson of Colmore Tang