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Being Better Innovators: Growing Capability

Team Seeks Low-Carbon Supply Chain

20 September 2016

Industry leaders will meet in London tomorrow to hear the results of an extensive research project into how innovation can be harnessed on construction projects more effectively and for longer.

The event at international law firm Pinsent Masons is the culmination of a year-long study which sets out a clear roadmap for the industry to follow in order to become better innovators.

The project - ‘Maximising Innovation Beyond Procurement and Contract Execution’ – wasoverseen by Costain, Pinsent Masons, the University of Cambridge, and supported by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

The title of the project reflects the fact that once a contract has been procured, the scope to accommodate innovation within the contract is governed by the contract itself and the nature of the contractual relationship. The study has sought to understand the behaviours that drive innovation, identify practical measures that encourage innovation and remove perceived barriers.

In compiling the study, the team drew on the knowledge and experience of clients, contractors, consultants and the supply chain, including both large and small businesses, in order to understand the barriers and enablers to innovation. The report also includes practical recommendations for key industry stakeholders and lessons that other parties can embrace.

The report includes proposals and recommendation for specific steps that can be implemented by the industry, including an industry innovation investment platform and using ‘Innovation Champions’ – people who are tasked with encouraging, supporting and driving innovation on a project - as well as guidance on the contractual clauses that can be used to get more from the supply chain.

“The recommendations will provide practical steps for anyone considering how to allow for innovation to be ingrained throughout the whole supply chain relationship,” said Shy Jackson, a partner with Pinsent Masons who was involved with the project.

Adam Golden, Costain Legal Executive, who helped to secure funding for the project, said: “This report engaged all corners of the infrastructure industry and sets out a number of targeted recommendations which we look forward to advancing and helping to bring to fruition.”

Tim Embley, Costain’s Group Innovation and Knowledge Manager, added: “Our industry clearly understands that to sustain itself, we need to embrace research and innovation to deliver new solutions that improve the performance of our customers businesses. I have been really impressed with the response and support this work has received from an industry that is committed to growth and investment in infrastructure.”




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