Greater investment in innovation in the construction industry - one of the largest sectors in the UK economy, employing nine per cent of the total UK workforce - is set to play a key part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. The transformation of construction will enable affordable, safer, healthier and more energy-efficient places to live and work. It is one of the first to receive fund support from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
In a global context, demand for efficient buildings is rising rapidly due to the pressures of urbanisation, affordability, and the need to cut emissions. The UK Government is a signatory to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) both at home and in its work abroad and the Paris Climate Agreement. The New Urban Agenda (Habitat III) provides the framework for delivering the SDGs in urban environments. There are significant challenges in these global commitments, as they require a concerted and collaborative effort is needed to deliver these goals effectively.
So construction is an area in which the UK can take a lead. The upcoming 2018 Ecobuild trade show and conference, which is being held in London’s ExCel, is therefore an important event for all innovative businesses involved in sustainable construction. There are already more than 150 companies registered coming from 20 different countries. The show’s “Futurebuild districts” will showcase the work of startups and SMEs, while around the conference arena there will be eight sustainability showcases.
To make the very most of Ecobuild, a free matchmaking on 7 March is being organised by Enterprise Europe Network. This provides the opportunity for visitors and exhibitors to pre-arrange one-to-one meetings with business, technology and research partners from all over the world. You can view the participants and register to book meetings here.
Participation in the Ecobuild matchmaking forum is an excellent opportunity to discover some of the latest product innovations and design technologies. At last year’s event year, more than 200 organisations participated and 500 one-to-one meetings took place. Dozens of business partnerships were agreed as a result. For building connections and market opportunities in sustainable construction, this can provide a big step forward.