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'Big Ideas' project wins Chartered Institute of Building's award for innovation – University of Reading

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'Big Ideas' project wins Chartered Institute of Building's award for innovation

Release Date 07 April 2009

The Chartered Institute for Building (CIOB) 'Innovation Research Paper' Award 2008/9 has been won by Professor Stuart Green of the University of Reading's School of Construction Management and Engineeringon behalf of a multi-university research team.

The award is part of the CIOB's International Innovation and Research Awards 2008/09. The three-year project, 'The Big Ideas', was a collaboration between the University of Reading, the University of Loughborough and the University of Salford. The project was coordinated by the University of Reading and Professor Green was the lead researcher. It was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to bring a fresh perspective to competitiveness in the UK construction industry.

Professor Stuart Green said: "This has been a challenging and tremendously rewarding project which we would hold up as an exemplar of 'co-production research'. The insights gained are founded on a prolonged interaction with a wide diversity of industry partners. Our success is attributable to a large research team spread across the three universities. I have been fortunate to have been supported throughout by an excellent research team here at Reading. In particular, by Dr Abbas Elmualim, Dr Chris Harty, Dr Graeme Larsen and Dr Chung-Chin Kao."

The project was based on the observation that the post-Egan industry improvement agenda was becoming increasingly disconnected from the day-to-day challenges faced by firms in the construction sector. The aim was to bring a fresh perspective to the construction competitiveness research agenda by better understanding how competitiveness is enacted within the sector, and how construction firms might respond to opportunities in the future.

Professor Green continued: "The onset of the current recession makes the underlying messages even more important than they were when the market was buoyant. We have developed tools which can support the thinking necessary to move towards an innovation-based model of competitiveness. These tools recognise that the sector's capabilities are not rooted within individual firms, but are embedded within complex networks of relational ties that transcend organisational boundaries."

The project outlines a bottom-up approach, grounded on a recognition of how the very best firms in the construction sector operate, rather than seeking to copy generic improvement recipes from other sectors.

In addition, Christopher Castle, a student at the University of Reading, was Commended in the Masters Dissertation Awards for his dissertation on 'Green Knowledge Integration'.

The awards take place in the evening of 14 May and the guest speaker will be Sir Frank Lampl FCIOB, Honorary Life President of Bovis LendLease. Sir Frank is the recipient of the first Golden Presidential Medal of the Chartered Institute of Building.

For further information about the CIOB's International Innovation and Research Awards please go www.ciob.org/events/irawardsENDS

Further information from Alex Brannen, Media Relations Manager at the University of Reading, on 0118 378 7388

The University of Reading's School of Construction Management and Engineering

The School of Construction Management and Engineering at the University of Reading is a world leader in teaching and research about the management, design and economics of engineered technologies, primarily in the construction field. The School has a global reputation for innovation, focused on real-world problems facing the management of the built environment, attracts academics, students and industry professionals of the highest calibre. With strong links to industry, professional institutions and governments around the world, staff and students are able to develop and transfer knowledge beyond the boundaries of the academic environment.

Research Assessment Exercise 2008. In the unit of assessment for Architecture and the Built Environment, it was in the top three departments³ in the country for construction management, with its good showing based on the traditional research outputs of research papers and research grants.

The Chartered Institute of Building

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) represents for the public benefit the most diverse set of professionals in the construction industry.
>www.ciob.org.uk
Further information is available by contacting Saul Townsend CIOB Press and Communications Manager on tel: 01344 630 766

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