News story

More efficient, high-quality buildings: apply for funding

Up to £12.5 million to increase productivity, performance and quality in construction through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

This competition has up to £12.5 million to transform construction by increasing productivity, performance and quality.

UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £12.5 million for projects to transform how the construction sector delivers new buildings.

The funding is provided by UK Research and Innovation and delivered through Innovate UK.

The need to transform

There is a shortage of high-quality housing in the UK and we need more affordable, energy-efficient and healthier places to live and work. This is creating demand to produce buildings more quickly, safely and with lower emissions.

For this to happen there has to be a revolution in the construction sector. Currently it lags behind other industries for productivity – and hasn’t changed much in more than 40 years.

So through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund government is supporting a transformation of UK construction.

The £170 million government investment, matched by £250 million from industry, will create new construction processes and techniques for building manufacture.

This £12.5 million funding competition is one element of the programme, which also includes funding for research, a new construction network and the creation of an active building centre and innovation hub.

It is a core part of the Construction Sector Deal, which sets out its vision for a future-proofed sector that can provide affordable, energy efficient homes in days or weeks, rather than months, and at a third of the cost.

Tackling the construction lifecycle

We are looking for projects that address the 3 main stages of the construction lifecycle. Specifically, they should focus on how we:

  • design and manage buildings, such as using digitally-enabled performance management systems
  • construct high-quality buildings, taking a manufacturing approach
  • power those buildings, for example, through the use of active energy components

The idea proposed should ultimately lead to cost savings, reduced delays and improvements in collaborations, productivity and outputs.

Delivering the modern Industrial Strategy

To meet the objectives of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, projects must do one or more of the following:

  • encourage the adoption of design approaches that favour pre-manufacturing and assembly
  • increase productivity on construction projects
  • develop scalable methods to speed up construction and provide greater certainty over budget and time
  • develop integrated building components that generate, manage and store energy at lower costs
  • reduce the construction and whole-life costs of built assets
  • improve the whole-life value and safety of built assets, while reducing the carbon impact of that asset

Depending on the length, projects can be for feasibility studies, industrial research or experimental development.

Competition information

  • this competition opens on 23 July 2018, and the deadline for applications is midday on 19 September 2018
  • a UK business must lead the project, working with other businesses, research, public sector or third sector organisations. At least one SME must be involved
  • total project costs can be between £25,000 and £500,000 for projects that last 6 to 12 months, or between £250,000 and £1 million if they last 12 to 24 months
  • you could attract up to 70% of your project costs
  • projects must start by December 2018
  • as part of the competition you can attend a briefing event, where you’ll find out more about how to create and submit a quality application. Register for:
Published 23 July 2018