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Innovation Lecture At UCL

Team Seeks Low-Carbon Supply Chain

4 April 2016

Costain’s Tim Embley recently gave a presentation to students at University College London, explaining how innovation can be used to enhance the performance of a customers’ business.

Tim, who is Costain’s Group Innovation and Knowledge Manager, gave a presentation to 20 students studying an MSc in Strategic Management of Projects and, in particular, a module called Managing Innovation and Technology.

The course brings together distinguished professionals, academics and policy-makers from across industry to explore the key strategic issues that project executives face, and propose strategic responses through the management of projects. The module is run by Andrew Davies, Professor of the Management of Projects, and Dr Natalya Sergeeva, Lecturer in the Management of Projects.

In this module, students learn about innovation strategy at the Company and project level, and explore different approaches like open innovation and the dynamic capabilities of innovation, whether it’s in using disruptive technology or harnessing new ways of working.

Costain’s contracts now involve a significant amount of collaboration between the supply chain and partners and external stakeholders, such as researchers and universities, utilising the latest in information sharing software and technology.

Costain benefits from industry leading research and sharing how innovation is delivered in practice, while UCL works closely with industry professionals like Tim, who has a leading role in promoting the immense potential of innovation and how it is being harnessed on behalf of Costain’s customers.

“Costain is an active participant in many aspects of innovation. The Company continually engages with academia and this has resulted in a number of research publications about innovation in the construction sector, and new research positions such as Industrial Case Studentship for a PhD on innovation in collaboration with UCL, Costain and Constructing Excellence,” said Dr Sergeeva.

Costain has identified the university network as an important factor in its Engineering Tomorrow strategy, which aims to identify, develop and implement innovative solutions to meet the UK’s major national infrastructure needs.

Costain has developed a relationship with a select number of universities, which are aligned to its long-term business aspirations. It is a collaboration that is focused on providing its customers with the very best research and it takes a significant amount of commitment on both sides.

As well as UCL, Costain has a strategic relationship with 11 other university partners, including the University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, Edinburgh University and the University of Sheffield.

“These universities act as a hub into the wider university network which allows us to form very effective relationships with other university partners, but maintain the continuity that our business needs to grow and develop,” said Tim.


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