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Living Lab Launch Event

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On 15th June  NSAR hosted the launch event of the TIES Living Lab Programme.

The event welcomed Andrew Stephenson, MP and Minister of State for Transport, along with Mike Hardaker from Transport for London, Keith Waller from the Construction Innovation Hub, Sam Stacey from Innovate UK, Mark Enzer from the Centre for Digital Built Britain and Peter Browne from the Department for Transport. Neil Robertson from NSAR, as Lead Party, facilitated the event. 

The potential benefits of the Living Lab are enormous: we can boost cost efficiency, drive down delivery times, reduce our carbon footprint and seize a huge range of other opportunities, including new skills and improving safety for construction workers. With the right evidence and information, the Living Lab should open the doors to greater innovation and reshape attitudes towards infrastructure. Living Lab is a collaborative project made up of several strategic partners with a huge depth of experience across the transport sector.

The Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy (TIES) Living Lab is a transformative collaboration of 25 partners together with Government, i3P and the Construction Innovation Hub that will use data, technology and Modern Methods of Construction within live transport infrastructure projects to deliver significant value-adding benefits across the sector. 

The UK has had a modest track record of infrastructure delivery with some programmes completed late; over budget; failing to secure the benefits expected; or cancelled after a significant investment. With the increasing challenge and complexity of the government’s pipeline of major projects, the capacity to deliver is being stretched. The estimation of cost and schedule can be improved and major projects and programmes are tending to avoid innovation risk.

The Living Lab was formed as part of Innovate UK’s Transforming Construction programme. Funded by Innovate UK with contributions from the Department for Transport, HS2, Transport for London, Network Rail and Highways England. The Living Lab offers a strategic, scalable and sector wide approach with government, client groups, suppliers and academia, working in partnership to tackle the systemic issues that still obstruct the use, integration and adoption of innovations that could drive productivity and wider social benefits through major construction schemes.

The Living Lab will be a catalyst for cultural change, shifting focus within infrastructure delivery decision-making from the costs of construction to an understanding of its whole life value.

Living Lab is part of the broader Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy: this government-led strategy has 7 challenges at its core. TIES supports wider business objectives like boosting supply chain productivity, adopting new methods of construction to reduce project delivery time and reducing carbon emissions.