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Since 2007, Innovate UK has invested around £2.5bn to help businesses across the country to innovate, with match funding from industry taking the total value of projects above £4.3bn.

Innovate UK has helped 8,500 organisations create around 70,000 jobs and added an estimated £18bn of value to the UK economy. In the period 2019/2020, Innovate UK received 5,794 applications for funding and made 949 awards. £645,886 was awarded in terms of funding, 24% of the total amount applied for.

AHR Architects Limited Industry Sector: Architecture & Building Consultancy

AHR Architects Limited is an architecture and building consultancy practice based in Manchester but operating globally. The Company applied to Innovate UK for funding of £198,322 for a collaborative R&D project with the University of London, Viapontica Limited, Aecom Professional

Services LLP. Building Research Establishment Limited, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios LLP, Autodesk Limited, Xco2 Energy Limited, Riba Financial Services Limited and The Chartered Institute of Building Benevolent Fund Limited. The collaboration aim was to develop more effective measures to reduce the energy consumption of existing and new building. CarbonBuzz was the result of the collaboration-an online platform that offers users a graphical interface to benchmark and track the energy use of building and building portfolios from design to operation.

It encourages users to share expertise and compare forecast and actual energy use against CIBSE benchmarks as well as live data anonymously. CarbonBuzz provides a robust foundation for comparing energy use and CO2 emissions from different measurement and reporting standards spanning acquisition to operation (Part L, EPC, planning, DEC, CRC, Carbon Trust Standard).

It has been stated that the project will broaden CarbonBuzz’s scope to create an authoritative database on design and actual energy use of buildings by: continuing to champion transparency in reporting energy use and fostering communication between experts, clients and operators; delivering a mechanism to manage energy use expectations for both publicly and privately funded projects from acquisition to design and operation.

This informs future policy making by providing evidence for scientific research into the factors affecting the real energy use of buildings; and delivering a collaborative interface that will link the database and reporting framework to other research, commercial and governmental programmes working towards the reduction of energy use in buildings.

The funding application was successful and the company was awarded £93,211.Overall, the collaboration received £374,811.

Salvesen Insulated Frames Limited, t/a Fusion Building Systems Industry Sector

Construction Salvesen Insulated Frames Limited, t/a Fusion Building Systems, is a company based in Northampton. The Company applied to Innovate UK for funding of £151,193 for a collaborative R&D project with Crest Nicholson and Aggregate Industries UK Limited. The aim of the project is to develop prototype materials, and a factory-based process, for production of finished, non-combustible, pre-insulated structural panels for house walls, roofs and floors.

The aim was to depart from traditional site-based construction methods (which are considered to be a major negative contributory factor to the UK’s housebuilding industry) and to develop new, off-site construction methods which could improve productivity, performance and quality. It is considered that off-site construction methods can result in faster construction times, reduced waste, less defects and hazardous working conditions and contribute significantly to the Government’s target for the industry to build at least 250,000 new affordable houses, year on year, to 2039. The funding application was successful and the company was awarded £90,716.Overall, the collaboration received £116,436.

Wikihouse Foundation Industry Sector: Construction/Software Development

The Wikihouse project is maintained by Open Systems Lab, a non-profit company registered in England and Wales. The Wikihouse Foundation applied to Innovate UK for funding of £460,440 to create a web platform for one of the first, fully digital building systems. The concept was that the platform would support the world`s first start-to-finish process for the digital design and fabrication of buildings, along with the automation, software and data integrations necessary to catalogue each project.

The overall ambition was to develop a new construction solution, using digital technology, that would overcome current housing challenges and facilitate the build of low energy homes and sustainable neighbourhoods. The Wikihouse Foundation was successful in the application and received funding of £2 07,1 98

Skanska Technology Limited Industry Sector: Construction/Software Development

Skanska Technology Limited applied to Innovate UK for funding to enable a collaborative project to be carried out with Unit9 Limited and Building Research Establishment Limited. Unit9 is an innovative SME gaming company.

The funding was required to develop a new design process within the construction sector that would go beyond existing Building Information Modelling (BIM) techniques and ultimately eliminate the need for expensive physical prototypes. Skanska conceived of an idea to integrate state-of-the-art gaming technology with existing BIM techniques and information from previous construction projects.

The plan was to turn the design process into an immersive game whereby the parties or “players” could explore the impact of different design features and optimise the building design to better meet the client’s requirements. The gamification of the design process would include construction sequence, machine options, site topography, delivery logistics, and time and cost parameters.

The application was successful and the project received £401,796 by way of funding.

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