Representing for the Imperial College London’s Center for Systems Engineering and Innovation (CSEI), Prof. Jennifer Whyte and Dr Luigi Mosca are involved in the Transforming Construction Network Plus (N+) to conduct research about novel business and policy practices to better understand and address the challenges of the construction transformation.

With £1m to invest in a raft of new research projects over the next two years, the Transforming Construction Network Plus (N+) mobilises a new movement in the construction community, bringing together experts from a range of disciplines to tackle the most pressing problems across the digital, energy, construction, and manufacturing space.

The vision for the N+ is to deliver transformational impact by adopting an integrated approach, situating construction as a production system for built assets that adds value to cities and their infrastructures.

The N+ unites academic researchers with industry and policy representatives through networking and skills-building events, creating a new community and body of knowledge to inform future construction policy and practice.

The aim of the N+ is to provoke, enable and amplify innovation, through four main objectives: 

  • Knowledge: to inform new research and development (R&D) models and government policy that link digital, construction, manufacturing and energy to improve productivity
  • Community building: to advance collaborations through knowledge exchange and debate, beyond what is currently possible 
  • Business models: to produce user-informed, practical resources that accelerate pathways to manufacture and delivery 
  • Investment and legacy: to de-risk and increase construction sector business R&D spend and enable new R&D collaborations that outlive the grant

Outcome

In October 2019, the N+ research team published their first digest, ‘Changing Business Models: Implications for Construction’.

Upcoming events:

Webinar: The Business of Industrial Transformation - Wednesday 23 October

Featuring Dr Samuel C. MacAulay (UTS Business School, Sydney) and Dr Lena E. Bygballe (BI Norwegian Business School) and moderated by Prof Andrew Davies (SPRU, University of Sussex), the webinar will consider how the transformation of the industry impacts the way that we manage firms and deliver projects in construction. Dr Samuel C. MacAulay will first explore how the shift to the Industry 4.0 is generating new ways of creating and capturing value in construction. Dr Lena E. Bygballe will then address the gap between strategic intentions and change in practice in this sector.

Find out more and register here:

https://transformingconstructionnetworkplus-webinar2.eventbrite.co.uk

Round 2: Call for Small Projects

Join us for our webinar on Wednesday 25 September and learn more about the second funding call.

As part of this ambition and with up to £600,000 to invest in a raft of new research projects, the N+ will launch its next funding call on 19 September 2019. The N+ is looking to fund a number of 6 month projects, which will address the biggest problems facing the construction industry and in line with the expectations of the Industrial Strategy and the Construction Sector deal. Further information on the call outline will be provided at the N+ Annual Conference on 19 September 2019.

Past Events:

Creating a movement for change - Transforming Construction Network Plus Conference 2019

The Transforming Construction Network Plus (N+) is delighted to announce its 2019 Annual Conference, which will be held on Thursday 19 September at the Royal Society in London. This one-day conference seeks to stimulate new perspectives, new ideas and new projects which will contribute to the transformation of the UK construction sector.

The N+ conference will feature renowned speakers from the UK and beyond – some advocating for new thoughts on the way we should build, some suggesting alternative routes and unique opportunities, and some showcasing incredibly promising new projects.

 

Webinar

Rethinking the business model for offsite construction 3 June 2019

The Transforming Construction Network Plus (N+) webinar took place on Wednesday 29 May. Featuring Dr Daniel M. Hall and Dr Wei Pan and moderated by Professor Jennifer Whyte, the webinar explored how new business models for modern methods of construction are emerging throughout the world and how they are relevant to creating the ‘tipping point’ in the sector envisioned in the UK Transforming Construction Agenda.

From his research on construction firms in the USA, Dr Hall first introduced some of the emerging business models emerging from this region. He concluded with an overview of promising trends and technical opportunities which he has been working on in ETZ Zurich.

Discovery Day

Tackling the Construction Challenge with supply chain management 7 August 2019

During this Discovery day, the Transforming Construction Network Plus explored the challenges of stakeholder fragmentation and complexity facing the construction industry.  The adoption of principles of the manufacturing industries, such as supply chain management, are held out as offering substantial benefits for the construction sector.

The N+ provides funding for research projects that aim to address some of the biggest problems currently facing the construction industry. The research supported will focus on the gaps, inter-relationships and under-explored regions of this domain, spanning digital, energy, construction and manufacturing expertise, in line with the expectations of the Industrial Strategy Construction Sector Deal. The small projects will unite academics from different universities to synthesise and bring the best existing and new knowledge to the rest of the programme and maximise exposure across industry.

The first round of funding calls for Small Projects awarded 4 small projects:

  • Challenging Space Frontiers in Hospitals - UCL
  • Developing consistent benchmarks to drive improved performance in construction projects -  University of Dundee
  • Digital Enablers for Construction Transformation (DECONT) - Loughborough University
  • Putting people at the heart of future social housing design and manufacture - Teesside University

Find out more about the successful small projects on the N+ website.

Funded by UK Research and Innovation through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the N+ is a joint project between UCLImperial College London and WMG, University of Warwick.   

Find out more about the upcoming events and funding opportunities on the N+ website. Join the mailing list and follow the N+ on Twitter to hear about latest N+ news.

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