CSIS receives £11m to support innovation in Scottish construction

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Scottish construction, CSIC,
Left to right. : John Forster, Karen Watt, Richard Lochhead MSP, Stephen Good © Any Buchanan 2019

Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) is to receive almost £11m of core funding to support an ‘innovation revolution’ in the Scottish construction sector

The investment from the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise will allow CSIC to build on the foundations of a successful first five years and support its Phase 2 mission to mainstream innovation in construction, leading to improved productivity and growth within the sector.

It is expected that over the next five years, the funding will help the Scottish construction sector deliver £998m of additional gross turnover, create 1,847 new jobs and retain 4,721 existing jobs.

The Scottish construction sector and its supply chain currently employs over 170,000 people with up to a further 60,000 self-employed workers – 10% of the workforce in Scotland. It contributes £21.5bn to Scotland’s GDP, and makes up 10% of Scotland’s GVA. For every £1 spent on construction output, a further £2.94 is generated in the economy.

Over the next five years (Phase 2), CSIC’s activities will fall under four key areas:

  • Culture Change
  • Digital Transformation
  • Accelerating Industrialisation
  • Building Sustainably.

Phase 2 plans also aim to build the Innovation Factory into a ‘national asset’ for Scotland, ensuring it engages effectively with initiatives like the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland and the UK Construction Innovation Hub network.

Stephen Good, chief executive of CSIC said: “The construction industry is on the verge of a digital and manufacturing revolution. Phase 1 saw CSIC establish itself and focus on building an innovation culture, and we’ve succeeded in creating a solid foundation around that.

“With this next phase of funding support in place, we can help scale-up and mainstream innovation within the sector, which in turn will unlock growth.

“However, for the next phase to be as successful as it can be, we need industry and its clients, both public and private, to really step up and drive that revolution forward through investing in innovative, collaborative projects which draw on academic expertise to unlock key opportunities.

“At the heart of any change programme sits committed people and by working together, the future for the construction sector is very bright indeed.”

Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Richard Lochhead, added: “The construction industry is a core sector of the Scottish economy, providing infrastructure to businesses across all sectors of the economy.

“Our vision is for a Scotland where innovation is an intrinsic part of our culture, our society and our economy. This relies on a pipeline of knowledge and skills from universities, colleges and research institutes. Fostering connections between the worlds of industry and academia is vital in making that vision a reality for the construction sector as in others.

“This £10.98m funding from the Scottish Government, via the Scottish Funding Council and the Enterprise Agencies, will allow the CSIC to continue its excellent work and important activities in the innovative construction landscape, to the benefit of the whole of Scotland and beyond.”

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