The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has launched its first Innovation Lab, a new approach billed to innovation in the built environment.
The aim of the new initiative is to identify and address systemic challenges facing businesses within the sector, and co-create sustainable solutions.
The open format allows participating organisations to convene around a common challenge and collaborate freely, whilst sharing the risk and potential rewards. It is often the case that open innovation is avoided in the built environment industry as intellectual property issues are perceived as prohibitive. However, UK-GBC said it has worked carefully to address these issues upfront to ensure these are not a barrier to collaboration for innovation.
Head of Leadership and Innovation at UK-GBC, Cat Hirst, said, “Research and Development levels across our industry are painfully low; the UK currently only spends £43m on construction R&D. The risks to a single company of investing in developing a solution for such a high-cost industry is often seen as prohibitive. But we desperately need to find ways of working together to achieve radical change if we are to challenge business as usual and transition to a sustainable way of working.
“At UK-GBC we’re seeking to catalyse this change by using our unique position to convene our member organisations to work together to address the issues our industry faces. We want to ensure there is the time, space, and structure for open innovation to occur for the built environment.
“The Innovation Lab is not just about finding one solution to one problem, it’s about fostering a more open and collaborative approach to problem solving as an industry. We need to build the capacity of our industry to innovate and find the right approach to being creative and collaborative within a commercial setting.”