Increase productivity, performance and quality in UK construction

Key Features

UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £12.5 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to increase productivity, performance and quality in construction.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £12.5 million

Opens: 23rd Jul 2018

Closes: 19th Sep 2018

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £12.5 million in innovative projects to transform the UK construction sector.

The aim of this competition is to invest in solutions to improve productivity, quality and performance of the UK construction sector. They are specifically looking for projects to improve the 3 core stages of the construction lifecycle:

  1. Designing and managing buildings through digitally-enabled performance management.
  2. Constructing quality buildings using a manufacturing approach.
  3. Powering buildings with active energy components and improving build quality.

The results should lead to a streamlined process that saves costs, reduces delays and improves collaborations, productivity and outputs.


Innovate UK are looking to fund collaborative projects that develop technologies, processes and business models that can:

  • deliver new built assets 50% faster and 33% cheaper
  • halve the lifetime carbon emissions
  • improve whole-life performance

Your project must respond to one or more of the following Industrial Strategy Challenge objectives:

  1. Encourage new construction projects to use ‘design for manufacturing and assembly’ approaches and active energy technologies. Target: an increase in the pre-manufactured value of built assets.
  2. Increase the productivity of construction projects. Target: 15% over current methods
  3. Develop new, scalable methods that speed up construction and provide greater certainty about budgets and timing. Target: 50% reduction in time from inception to completion from 2010 baseline.
  4. Develop integrated building components that generate, manage and store energy, to bring the down the cost of active buildings Target: closer to market cost for standard component.
  5. Reduce construction costs and whole-life costs of built assets. Target: 33% reduction against 2010 baseline.
  6. Improve the whole-life value and safety of built assets (user performance), including a reduction in carbon intensity. Target: 50%.


To be eligible for funding you must:

  • be a UK based business, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out your project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • work in collaboration with other businesses, research organisations, public sector or third sector organisations

Projects are expected to involve one or more of the following:

  • application or adoption of innovative digital and manufacturing technologies
  • development of cohesive and collaborative business models
  • supply chain integration to support economies of scale

Projects must start by December 2018 and end by December 2020.

Funding Costs

Projects that last between 6 and 12 months may have total project costs of between £25,000 and £500,000.

Projects that last between 12 and 24 months may have total project costs of between £250,000 and £1 million.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 25% if you are a large business


Innovate UK will not fund projects that:

  • do not meet the aims of the competition
  • do not respond to the objectives and targets of the Challenge
  • look at retrofit of existing buildings