Six Covid construction projects net funding through Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) is to back six “impactful” innovation projects through its i-Con Innovation Challenge Fund.

The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre based in Glasgow is supporting six new projects.

With a combined project value of nearly £250,000, almost £125,000 has been awarded by CSIC to successful applicants who have designed projects covering a wide spectrum of areas including economic recovery, technology, skills and new processes.

The fund, which is managed by CSIC using funding from the Scottish Government through a partnership of the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, was launched in respond to the challenges facing the built environment as a result of the Covid pandemic and offers a platform for industry and academia to collaborate.

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Since its launch in May, a total of 242 “matchmaking profiles” have been created on the i-Con collaboration portal by public and private sector organisations, academia, trade associations and the wider construction sector.

There have been 23 funding proposals submitted during the first round of funding, with six successful project applications being granted funding or support with trials.

The 3E’s project – CICV Forum Toolkit – will develop a set of digital learning scenarios to create a Covid-19 toolkit to support Scottish construction, including apprentices, to return to work safely.

Remote Building Inspection Framework – Sublime, Scottish Government Building Standards Division, Balfour Beatty, University of Strathclyde and Robert Gordon University – will use image processing and virtual reality interfaces to enable building professionals and consultants to manage and monitor the construction phase of buildings and improve productivity and quality.

The economic, social and environmental benefits of stimulating repairs and improvements to the Scottish built environment to aid a green recovery from the pandemic – CICV Forum – will engage the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde to model economic scenarios across differing area of construction work to help ascertain where the UK and Scottish governments should target public funds to stimulate a post-Covid recovery in the sector.

A Covid-19 response for the light-gauge steel framing industry (CovSteel), involving Newton Steel Frame and the University of Edinburgh, will quantify the beneficial effects of composite action between light-gauge steel framed walls and calcium silicate sheathing.

Trial of Smart Site Management Proximity Sensing Solution, SiteCircle and CSIC, is a trial of bluetooth technology to create a “smart site” workplace where physical distancing and contact tracing will be monitored.

The final successful application is Trial of Digital Pass Solution, eCom Scotland and CSIC – which is a trial of an app that aims to facilitate a safe return to work, enhance safe working environments, build employee confidence in returning and optimise efficiencies and outputs.

Lucy Black, director of innovation and engagement at CSIC, said: “The response has been overwhelming. We look forward to seeing the progress made by the six selected projects in this first phase, and of course the matchmaking portal will remain open to help build more collaboration through teams who can access support and expertise to help co-create rapid, impact-focused solutions.”

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