Engineering Tomorrow 'Think Tank'
24 June 2015
Costain recently brought together innovators from across its business to attend its Annual Innovation Conference.
The all-day event at Woodland Grange in Leamington Spa was attended by over 90 delegates, with nearly a third coming from the Company’s supply chain. An impressive list of delegates included representatives from all levels of Costain’s operations, as well as the Company’s academic and innovation partners, who are actively collaborating with Costain to improve services to its customers.
The conference showcased a range of innovations from the last 12 months and identified areas where Costain will strengthen its innovation capability. The conference also gave delegates a better understanding of the challenges facing the industry and where innovations need to be focused in order to meet those challenges.
After a welcome and introduction from Tim Embley, Costain Group’s Innovation and Knowledge Manager, the delegates heard from a range of speakers which looked at how to strengthen innovation capability that will differentiate Costain in the market; strengthening Costain’s relationship with partners to accelerate innovation to market; delivering more efficient and innovative services to customers, and finally, developing a pipeline of innovation to address customer business challenges.
“We wanted to provide an environment for the business to network, share innovation and discuss how we can provide the appropriate business conditions to ensure we have an industry leading supply chain,” said Tim.
Sharing knowledge and innovation, often in collaboration with businesses outside Costain, is a major constituent of its Engineering Tomorrow strategy, the Company’s commitment to identifying, developing and implementing innovative solutions to meet the UK’s major national infrastructure needs.
The conference heard from the Company’s numerous innovation partners about how important it is for smaller organisations to showcase their innovations, play a part in helping UK Plc reach its strategic goals and keep the UK economy competitive internationally.
Streamwire, a company that promotes technological solutions to actively reduce energy consumption, carbon and waste, attended the event. Streamwire is currently working with Costain at London Bridge to help reduce its carbon footprint by 55% by 2020. It was the first recipient of Costain’s first Low Carbon Innovation Award.
Streamwire’s CEO, Anne Stokes, said: “Taken collectively, small innovations can make a huge difference to the success of a project, or help an organisation reach its strategic goals, such as reducing its carbon footprint. Costain is not only focused on innovation, they’re also not afraid to look at ideas and innovations from smaller operators to see how they can make a contribution.”
Tim Bowen, Costain’s Corporate Development Director and the Executive Board sponsor for research and innovation, gave the closing remarks.
“As a Company, we continually focus on our customers’ needs and seek to identify innovations that will improve the performance of their businesses. But innovation depends on the sharing of knowledge and ideas, and our Innovation Conference clearly showed why bringing people together helps us to meet that objective,” said Tim.
The day concluded with a dinner and a charity raffle, which raised over £350 for Costain’s *150 Challenge. Prizes were donated by the Company’s innovation partners.
*The 150 Challenge commemorates Costain’s 150th anniversary and involves raising £1million in 2015 for the Costain Charitable Foundation’s four chosen charities – the British Heart Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Support, youth charity The Prince’s Trust and Samaritans.
Costain Communications Department