Watford’s Richard Harrington MP announced the government’s £72million investment in the new Core Innovation Hub.
Mr Harrington MP made the announcement during a visit to the Building Research Establishment (BRE), in Garston on Friday, November 30.
Following a nationwide competition as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the government, through UK Research and Innovation, awarded the £72 million to the Transforming Construction Alliance to deliver the national hub. It is a partnership between three centres of established excellence: The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), the BRE and Cambridge University’s Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB).
The new Core Innovation Hub will transform the UK’s construction industry by supporting the development and use of technologies such as digital design, advanced manufacturing, robotics, drones and augmented and virtual reality.
Mr Harrington MP, who is Business and Industry Minister, said: “We have the opportunity to revolutionise construction in the UK and the Core Innovation Hub will help us build smarter, greener and more efficient buildings much faster and cheaper than we do now.
“From two points of view: the departmental point of view, my portfolio for business and industry, and secondly because I happen to be local, as the MP for Watford, so that’s why I know BRE, it’s not just another place for me to visit.
“What’s gone on here is one of the most exciting developments in construction. When I first came here 10 years ago, where we were not even thinking about something like this.
“Because I’ve been involved in construction for all these years it means a lot to me. It (the investment) isn’t just a government scheme, it’s a partnership between the government and the industry.”
The increased use of technology will enable the sector to design and build faster, cheaper and more sustainably. Smart sensors and digital systems will be incorporated into buildings and infrastructure, so they can manage and maintain themselves – and the data they gather will enable the government and industry to make our towns and cities better places to live, work and travel in.
the hub will support essential research and development in digital and offsite manufacturing technologies and the investment means that virtual reality, digital design and offsite manufacturing technologies are now the future of UK construction.
Keith Waller, programme director for the Transforming Construction Alliance told WatfordNews: “As a nation, we spend £60billion-a-year on economic and social infrastructure such as prisons, schools, hospitals, energy projects, roads etc, and this gives us an opportunity to do that more sustainably.
“We’re supporting long-term manufacturing jobs in heartlands, rather than short-term construction jobs on site.
“I look forward to working alongside government, industry and the talented teams at MTC, BRE and CDBB to realise the vision of a transformed sector.”