If you have a housing project in mind and are looking for sources of finance for it, why not apply for a portion of the £12.5 million that’s just been made available by the government and industry together as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
Provided by UK Research and Innovation, and delivered through Innovate UK, the fund has been set up in a bid to transform the construction sector by increasing productivity, performance and quality, and how the industry delivers new buildings.
The idea is to use the money to create new construction processes and techniques for the manufacture of buildings here in the UK. The funding competition is just one part of the programme, which also includes funding for research, the creation of an active building centre and innovation hub, and a new construction network.
As we all know, the UK has a shortage of high-quality housing and it’s now essential that we come up with more affordable, healthier and energy-efficient places to live and work. This in turn requires us to produce buildings more quickly, safer and with lower emissions. At the moment, the construction sector is lagging behind others in terms of productivity, with not much change or innovation being seen in the last 40 years or so.
The competition opened on July 23rd, with the deadline for applications set at 19th September. In order to be eligible for funding, a UK business must be leading the project, working with other companies, research, public or third sector organisations and at least one small to medium-sized enterprise must be involved.
Total project costs can be between £25,000 and £500,000 for work lasting six to 12 months. If projects last 12 to 24 months, total costs can be between £250,000 and £1 million.
Projects must begin by December of this year and as part of the competition, you can attend a briefing event in order to find out more about creating and submitting a quality application.
Innovate UK is looking to fund collaborative projects that develop processes, technologies and business models that are able to deliver new built assets 50 per cent faster and 33 per cent cheaper, halve the lifetime carbon emissions and improve whole-life performance.
Proposals will be prioritised that demonstrate cross-sector collaboration, so do bear this in mind when filling out your application. In addition, it’s expected that projects will include one or more of the following: the application or adoption of innovative manufacturing and digital technologies, supply chain integration to support economies of scale and the development of cohesive and collaborative business models.
Projects that will not be funded will be those that don’t meet the aims of the competition, which don’t respond to the targets and objectives of the Challenge or which look at the retrofitting of existing buildings.
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