The UK Research & Innovation Council (UKRI) has backed the ACE Future of Consultancy campaign, to help the consultancy and engineering sector welcome a new era of design and delivery in the built environment

The UKRI has pledged to collaborate with and sponsor the ACE Future of Consultancy campaign as part of the Construction Sector Deal’s Transforming Construction programme.

The first phase will scope new areas of opportunity, identify and explore new business models for consultancy, and analyse the sector’s changing needs in terms of skills.

The second phase will implement the findings from phase one and focus on developing sustainable businesses delivering different services using different business models, and piloting tomorrow’s training, apprenticeship schemes, and contracts.

Working in partnership with members, industry stakeholders and clients from the private and public sectors, the Future of Consultancy will build on existing initiatives and research to deliver tangible outputs in assessing the addressable markets for new technology and future consultancy services.

Hannah Vickers, chief executive of ACE said: “We are delighted that UKRI has recognised the benefits that our Future of Consultancy campaign will have helping consultancy firms invest wisely and aligning the clients’ efforts with the Transforming Construction Programme to focus on the areas of greatest opportunity.

“We’ve taken stock of the various initiatives happening around us, including the Industrial Strategy, changes to the regulation of the industry as a result of the Hackitt Review and Project 13, and want to work with consultancy firms to develop an industry-wide vision to review and prioritise potential future opportunities in the UK and Export markets lie, and then to implement a programme to develop the capability to deliver the change.”

Craig Huntbatch, business line director at Royal HaskoningDHV, and vice chairman of ACE, commented: “Our ambitions are to go further than this, with our own strategy to make it relevant and joined up with other parts of the industry.

“We have already started making progress by holding a manufacturing workshop, jointly with CECA, to help us understand the challenges and opportunities that contractors see for clients through offsite manufacturing. This is about industry taking stock of the changing environment around us and implementing a plan to lead our business into a sustainable future together.”

Sam Stacey, ISCG Challenge Director of UKRI added: “The Future of Consultancy campaign being led by ACE clearly contributes to the Government’s ambitions to improve the productivity and performance of the sector through the Transforming Construction Programme.

“In addition, it is vital to the sustainability of the businesses in the consultancy sector. UKRI believes it will deliver real change in the industry, and we are pleased to support it.”

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